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RTLF #23 – So many things!

This week is chock full of things to be grateful for. Remember, this is my list. If it doesn’t coincide with yours, just kindly move along. I’m grateful we can agree to disagree. There.

Big election week. Duh. So I’m grateful for some outcomes. But most in particular is the Washington State referendum that allows same sex couples to marry. It doesn’t redefine marriage. It allows all people to have the same civil rights when it comes to marriage.

Anyway, we need to get over the definition of marriage. Over the centuries it has meant many different things. Such as:

In the Old Testament men had many wives. Women were property. Even in the 1800s women couldn’t own property, yet they were married off like it. In the south, first cousins married each other in arranged marriages.

Inter racial marriages were illegal up until the 1960s. Slavery had been outlawed for a hundred years but folks couldn’t marry outside their race. And it’s pretty obvious, you couldn’t marry a slave either, it says so in the Bible.

Let’s include all the non religious people have weddings all the time. Nobody makes a stink about that. So to say it’s a religious, biblical sacrament, just isn’t cutting it for me.

I have many gay friends. Some don’t want to get married. Hey, I get that. But those that do, now can. I think it’s wonderful. They aren’t clamoring for rights to kill puppies people. They are fighting for rights to love openly. How can that be bad?

I’m grateful for my mommy and daddy being well. They are getting old. We all are. But this week they had more Old People tests than normal. Mom had to have a second mammogram to check things out. Dad had some heart tests to confirm a few things.

But the news at the end of the week was good and all their tests came back clear. So I can breathe a little easier. And they can too. Which makes me happy knowing they are happy.

I love that my husband works his butt off for this family. We both do. But his working butt gets a paycheck. You could say my butt spends it. Okay, that was weird. But yeah, I’m so very grateful for the two checks a month we get to pay the bills, buy the food and maybe even a little extra for some treats. Not much extra. But that’s okay.

With the holidays coming it’s always stressful stretching the paycheck out over extra extra stuff. I love the festivity, I love feeling generous and grabbing as many giving tree tags as I can. But then I need to remember to budget myself. I’m grateful for the ability to take some of those giving tree tags to help other people in what little way I can.

So there you go. My list, my gratitude. My cup runneth over not just with tea, but with so much warm fuzzy love. I know, it’s disgusting.

Namaste.

Am I Fat?

Well I’ll save you the trouble of answering that. No, I’m not.

But I still struggle with how I look, as does 99 % of the females in this country do too. I want to focus on my inner beauty. I do. But most of the time I’m a little distracted by the outer train wreck that is my aging self and I forget these important things.

I need to tell myself,  I’m okay. You need to tell YOURSELF that you’re okay. But some things in the media have been bothering me and I will get them off my chest.

Sports Illustrated swim suit model, Kate Upton, has been called fat. Fat?  Hmm, here’s a picture of her-

I’m sorry, who’s complaining?

and here-

How many folks would let her eat crackers in their bed? Show of hands please.

And here’s a blog about what the hell is wrong with people out there calling her fat. I knew about ProAna, (how-to Anorexia website) but I didn’t know about Thinspirational lingo. Gag me. And not in the Bulimia way folks.

 

So when I ask, Am I fat? the answer is still no. But I would be considered a plus size model in the industry. Plus size!  I waver around a solid size 6. My jeans are sometimes an 8, because they’re jeans people!  So Plus size? I don’t even shop at Lane Bryant. Why would I be Plus size if I don’t wear Plus size?  I’m an average size 5’6″ , one hundred and firthnmumpteen pounds.  Even my feet are an average size 8.

My BMI is healthy, my proportions are right- I’m like 34, 27, 38. Okay, I’m 32, 28,39. Whatever. It depends on the time of the month. However, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can help with the dimples, dots, divets, veins, stretch marks and pimply pale skin that is me. Between the barnacles, skin tags, 3rd nipples…did I just say that? I mean, my dermatologist says it’s just my skin overactive in the mammalian variety, whatever.. ANYWAY, it’s not pretty.

 

I am not a plus-sized, woman. I am a healthy, 40 year old, soft and squishy mom of 2!

Comments from people on Kate Upton article read,  ‘oh, she’s pretty, but she could tone up a bit’. Really people? You are going to knock a woman for being a bit, uhm, womanly? Reading fashion magazines and beauty magazines is dumbing down our senses. We are conditioned to see size zero perfectly airbrushed models that DON’T EXIST in the real world! Nit picking over every fold, inch, pudge or dimple is dangerous. Stop seeing just the hole when there’s the entire donut to focus on! A donut with chocolate icing and extra sprinkles that is so wonderful, you forget there’s a hole.

So here- tell me I’m fat. Go on, I dare ya. (Okay, please don’t. Yeah, thanks.)

Would it be fun to be a svelte, tone, size 2? Yes.  But I’m glad I’m HEALTHY, STRONG, and HAPPY!

I’m 40 and freaking fantastic!

Take that stupid magazines- you can suck my 3rd nipple. (DID I JUST SAY THAT?)

Feed your kids right dammit!

Okay- disclaimer alert- I am no Martha Stewart. Pfft. THAT’s been established.  I do not make my own canned vegetables from my garden. I am not Alicia Silverstone who only feeds prechewed all organic purified food to her children either! But then I’m not as bad as say, Roseanne or Peg Bundy, who I just picture making tater tot casserole and chicken wings for their families each night. I like tater tot casserole- but not EVERY night. So this is MY rant. MY blog, MY opinion. I’m just putting it out there. Yes, everyone has their own story. Yes, not everyone can afford fresh, organic groceries. But in my little head, here’s the thoughts that go rattling around and around. I’m not saying to be perfect. I’m saying to just take ownership.

I was watching The View at the gym while on the glider thingy. Not the elliptical, not a stairmaster, just something like the two combined. I’m usually there during LIVE with Kelly, but I was a little dawdly and got their late. If I’m not listening to Kelly Ripa, I’m mesmerized by the Brazilian Butt Lift infommercial that is always playing on one of the other screens. The gal that raised her butt up 1 1/2 inches is a hero in my book.

Okay, where was I? The View. I never watch this show. If I was on this show myself, I would just punch Elizabeth out, shake Barbara by the shoulders, get Joy an ice pack for her hot flashes and crawl in to Whoopi’s lap. She is usually the one I agree with the most. And low and behold, I agreed with Elizabeth today too. I blame the Super Moon. The topic was banning bake sales in schools to fight childhood obesity. I couldn’t believe that when Elizabeth started yammering, I was agreeing with her. She thinks it’s the parent’s job to feed their kids right. Eureka! But my speed sure increased on the glidey thingy since I was getting all fired up about their discussion. Schools banning bake sales isn’t what’s going to solve our country’s childhood obesity. How about the government banning crap in our foods? Or just let’s not ban anything and be responsible for our bodies.

Okay, I know. I seriously don’t have  the nutritional expertise, or the statistical chops to fight this argument but let me just get on my soap box for a minute here.

Americans are fat. We are. Go to other countries. They are less large. They talk about fat Americans in Europe. Now there’s fat people everywhere. But here, we’re fat. Why? Because we frickin’ invented fast food people!!! Wake UP!! This isn’t rocket science. Taco Bell’s 4th meal isn’t the most brilliant thing as a society we have come up with. Now I like me some Doritos. Not EVERY day. But I do like them. Does the taco shell made from a Dorito intrigue me? Hmm, maybe. Does it also disgust me? Hmm, you could say so.

There has got to be something better out there to spend $2 on.

Public Education is not doing so great in our country. Funding is cut every year. Because let’s face it, as a strong western civilization, it makes the most sense to balance our budget on the backs of our future even if it’s our children’s learning that’s at stake. (insert sarcasm here please,  thank you.)

I’m a member of the PTA. I have like a laminated gold card to the PTA. I drive a minivan for gosh sakes. Fundraiser is my middle name. We don’t do bake sales much any more. And yes, schools discourage sugary sweets brought in to class. Some teachers have banned cupcakes even on birthdays for your kid to bring in and share with the students. I had a summer birthday, so I never got that day to bring fancy cupcakes to school. I always wanted to though. There’s no soda in vending machines anymore. Good, soda is evil anyway. Juice and water are just fine. Energy drinks are banned too. That’s good, who knows what lab-created crap is in those things. But parents selling baked goods at a carnival, probably sponsored by the PTA to raise money for the school, gosh darn it, doesn’t seem like devil spawn to me.

There was a parent at my daughter’s school last year petitioning during the Walk A Thon to have a teacher stop giving Jolly Ranchers to the kids to reward good behavior, work turned in, keeping their mouth shut, who knows? Just whatever the teacher’s preogative is to hand out a Jolly Rancher here and there as a motivator! This petition was stupid. She had asked the teacher to not give her child any candy. This though creates an awkward situation where the kid is left not getting any candy while her classmates get candy. Okay, she can have a sticker. Nope, still not enough for this mom. So she doesn’t go to the principal, she doesn’t talk to the teacher again, she gets a petition going! How about just let your kid have a piece of candy?? Or if they don’t get a piece of candy, why do you have to spoil it for the rest?? I know candy isn’t necessary in schools. But just go with me here. We keep making such forbidden fruit out of everything for our kids. Ha, see what I did there?

We are denying them so many things like one piece of candy, yet we’ll drive through McDonalds for pink slime nuggets, or get ammonia ground hamburger at WalMart.  One of these days the children will rebel and there will be a coup and everyone will be reveling in Fritos and Ding Dongs while the parents look on in horror! Stop confusing our kids. Treats are treats- they should be used less often, on occasion.  So one piece of candy during the school day isn’t harmful. Maybe if everyone stopped feeding their kids modified crap for breakfast and dinner at home in the first place, behavior would be better and they wouldn’t need to bribe the little monsters with candy. (claps hand over mouth- I did NOT just say that!)

So, I guess what this brings me back to, is basic parenting and nutrition. Where did we disconnect from battling over breast vs. bottle to making it everyone else’s problem how our kids eat?

My kids DO NOT have the world’s most healthiest lunches. And yes, they have a metabolism that is Speedy Gonzalez fast. They could eat queso and pork rinds for a month and probably not gain weight. Would they be irritable sons of bitches because they’re going through vitamin deficiencies? Uh, YEAH!  But I buy real food at the store. I make dinner. We eat organic as much as possible. We eat fresh too. Do they always eat their vegetables? No. Do I give them their Gummi vitamins like crazy to make up for this? Yes!  Sometimes we eat out. Do we eat drive thru? Hardly ever. The other day my daughter and I had a cast meeting to go to right at dinner time. I had just finished making a batch of enchiladas. Seriously easy people, tortillas, cheese, sauce and beans with some sour cream. She didn’t have time to eat it before we left. I put it on a plate, grabbed a kitchen towel and a fork and she ate it in the car. No drive-thru needed. And yes- I had come home earlier from whatever else we had been doing and had 30 minutes to throw dinner together. I don’t always put my super cape on in the kitchen. Sometimes I order pizza. Sometimes we pick up Mexican from the family mom and pop restaurant down the street.

And if your kid doesn’t like a food that you’ve given them. Fine. Move on. Try something else. Introduce it another month prepared a different way. I hated mushrooms and zucchini when I was a kid. I love them now. Who would think lentils would grow on me? Kids have heightened taste buds, their senses are more sensitive than ours. Some things are gross. But their appreciation can change over time. My kids like edamame pods but hate green beans. They like black beans but not kidney beans. Sweet potato but not beets. You know, whatever works.

I just wish people would stop super sizing, stop drive-thruing, stop taking short cuts. Turn off the TV, get your kid outside to play and MAKE a meal.

Why, why in this country do we have so many food allergies and intolerances? Why in this country is Autism 1 in 88 children? Why in this country do we have the highest rate of MS? Why in this country are we dying from diabetes and heart disease?

WAKE UP PEOPLE! Maybe it’s your food. Stop stuffing your faces and actually find out where your food comes from. Be an advocate for yourself, and your kids. I realize that this isn’t the easy answer when it comes to all matters. Autism being one of them. I have many folks, I know that take wonderful care of their children with Autism and it isn’t because they fed them junk food. I’m not being cruel here people. But I’m trying to make a point for our generation and the generations to come.

I’m just saying start at home. Don’t rely on the schools, the government or anyone else for that matter to make sure your kid eats healthy. I live in suburbia. I wish I had my own goat, chickens and garden. But I don’t. So I shop locally, produce markets, butchers, wherever I can. I try anyway. Sure I buy some of the big brands like Kraft or Kellogg’s. But the more I read about GMOs, the more I reach for the alternative- organic, smaller brands.

Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to clear your plate because there’s kids starving in Africa? And then you thought, how does me clearing my plate help feed a kid in Africa? It’s called gratitude, portion, and awareness. There’s still kids in Africa that are starving. There’s kids here starving. Money spent on wasted food doesn’t get donated to food pantries, food banks, churches… are you eating to live, or living to eat? Oh, god, don’t answer that. I live to eat, plain and simple. Okay, how about this-

Live simply, so others can simply live. My point is, take ownership of your food. Buy what you need. Buy what is wholesome and healthy. Treat yourself now and then. Don’t banish things. My house is loaded with candy, ice cream, snacks, chips. Do my kids eat it all the time? Heck no! I’m throwing out last year’s Halloween candy. And I don’t feel guilty about that. I’m kind of happy. Wasted candy doesn’t make me lose sleep. But also, it shows me that I’ve taught my children restraint. They know what’s good for them. I’ve nurtured them, I’ve educated them, and I guess I’ve set a good example. I don’t see treats as a threat, and I haven’t taught them that either.

Okay, see what I mean? I ramble, I don’t have any facts, it’s purely my own speculation. Well, hey, ask yourself, ‘what was the last thing I ate and do I know where it came from?’ <<steps off soap box, quietly walks out of room>>

Yoga gabba gabba

I went to yoga last week and again this week. First time in years. To a class, that is. I do yoga stretches at home all the time. Apparently, not like this instructor does though. She worked me, and worked me good. This must be how taffy feels in Atlantic City getting pulled all over the place while people watch for fun.  The best part-  I didn’t pass any gas. Whew!!

Yoga is such tricky shit. You are trying to get your body to look like Jennifer Aniston, but in the meantime, you know that you really should be there to get your heart and your mind like Ghandi. Then you feel kinda bad thinking to yourself, ‘how many of these sessions will it take to look hot in that LBD I saw at Nordstrom?” Because really, we want to feel good, but we want to look good too. Is that so wrong? Not only do I think of Little Black Dresses, or cute new sandals, my mind trails to all kinds of thinking while in Ohm pose. Like, ‘what’s for dinner, what does Rick Astley look like these days, did Joanie really love Chachi’. You know, important stuff like that.

I carry a lot of tension, pain, hormones, whatever, in my lower back. Carry it like a pack mule down to the Grand Canyon. Geeze, what is the matter down there?? Yogi Nancy really s t r e t c h e d  it out of me. I love it when I’m downward dogging and she comes over and just pulls at my hips a little more to the ceiling. Oh sure- cuz that’s so much easier now!!  I’ve been sore for a couple days, but in a good way. My back felt great the next day. I know now that stretching is probably going to be key to my quality of life even more so than running or strength training. How in the heck do I get so wound up down there? I mean, I’m not doing any heavy lifting, I wonder if it’s my posture, the way I sit when I’m driving in my pimpwagon (minivan)?  Oh wait, I know- it’s this damn couch I’m sinking into while blogging and on Facebook all the time!! Anyway- my hips are tight. Super tight. Like I need Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Dancing With the Stars to Samba the knots out – kinda tight.

At the beginning of class our Yogi said something to us that really stood out to me. She was talking about a term- I have no idea the Indian name for it- but it means ‘non grasping’. She talked about not holding our pain. Not grasping at things in life.  When we grasp, our hands are closed, and they aren’t open and ready for the next thing.

Huh.

I am always trying to grip so hard on to things to hold them dear to me. I never thought of the idea of ‘not grasping’. She says when you are grasping constantly, you don’t appreciate the ‘now’, what this moment has for you. You are grasping and it traps you in the past. Let me explain. Like a dog that is happy to go on a walk. Dog isn’t thinking on the walk how dog needs to go home and do chores, cook dinner, or write blog, dog is just happy to smell stuff and watch squirrels. Dogs don’t grasp apparently.

I thought of what I’m grasping.

Maybe I am grasping pain. We always reference something to our past. “Gosh, last year when I ran that 5k, my hips didn’t hurt the way they do now.” OR “Last time I went out late with friends and danced on the  bar, I didn’t get so tired so quickly”.

I grasp onto my parent’s aging.

I don’t want them to get older. I don’t like when I hear my mom talk about how she is slowing down, or my dad is slowing down. I’m grasping on to the time in their lives before cancers, before hip replacements, before they were too tired to get on the floor and play with the kids. Thankfully, my kids are older now- we don’t play on the floor- much. Owen likes to hang out with Oma sewing or reading. And both kids always like to sit at the table to enjoy a cup of tea and a jam butty with their Odaddy. So really, no one needs to be moving much. Right?

I grasp on the times when my children were little and sweet and innocent. When their cheeks were pudgy and their knuckles had little fat indents.

I grasp on to the early courting days of my relationship with my husband. He used to bring me flowers every month. We used to go antiquing on weekends.

People say kids today are so busy texting and on Facebook. They are grasping on to the past of when there were no cell phones, no computers, no XBOX, no Kindles, no GPS.

Yeah- that might be true. I make sure my kids ‘unplug’ from time to time.  I am NOT a strict no TV mommy. Don’t give me too much credit.  But here’s what is cool today in the here and now- kids can treasure hunt using satellites, they can text their mom that they will be late for dinner since their coach kept them late at practice, they can strategize through puzzles on Portal 2 in case they work for the CIA when they grow up (okay, I threw that last part in, but I can’t do diddly squat on Portal 2 and my 8 year old has it mastered.) I can’t even fold a map these days- so thank GOD for GPS. Right?? Our state can issue an Amber Alert that can be spread through social media outlets within minutes. Kids have the chance to be found the same day. Not to be lost forever with their picture on a milk carton.

I will try to open my hand and not grasp but think of the following:

  • my parents are here, they are wonderful people that sit and listen and make me feel important, special and loved. I don’t necessarily have to DO anything with them to enjoy them.
  • my children are humorous, independent and growing up to be pleasant people. Actual persons. Just like I intended. They will one day leave the nest, I want them ready to fly. I can’t have them stay sweet and peachy fuzzy chubby forever. Which makes me break down in sobs sometimes and want to climb in their bed when they are off at school and stick my nose in their blankets to just get their sweet smell.
  • maybe my husband doesn’t bring me flowers hardly ever. But I was living in an apartment in those days. We didn’t have our babies yet. The future seemed so vast and daunting. Now I know where I am meant to be.  I wouldn’t change today for anything and where we are now. And we don’t need any more antiques.

Hold your hands open to what is. To the now my friends. Oh SNAP! I am turning into Gandhi. Maybe my enlightened self will just accept my body as it is and go get that dress at Nordstrom anyway….

Namaste.

 

I have it really good.

But that doesn’t mean I have it easy.

Does anyone have it easy? I mean really now. Life is a struggle. There is probably a very small, hmm, can we call them the 1% of people, who have few worries. If you relate your worries to your finances I guess.

I figure, if you are a loving, warm blooded human- you have worries or problems.

Here is why I have it good. And yes, I’m an appreciative type so I will focus on the positive for now. ‘Bout damn time I stop complaining about PMS and cellulite anyway.

  • I am a stay at home mom. Yep, I said it. Proud of it too. I ADMIRE WOMAN WHO WORK AT PAYING JOBS TOO! so there. I am just happy in MY shoes. Don’t judge me for not ‘working’. That’s bullshit. I work all the time. I volunteer too. Which is working for free. So that means, I do two jobs and don’t get paid. I raise my kids and I volunteer. Bam.
  • My husband is a good man. He really is. I give him crap. He can’t load or unload the dishwasher or put his socks away. But God bless him, he works hard for his family and puts us FIRST. Which in my book, is what makes a man a man. He loves us, even if he has shitty communication skills. He trusts me. He let’s me be me. He lets me have fun with girlfriends, blog about shit, fill our home with beauty products and copious amounts of tea. I love tea. He doesn’t give me a hard time for going vegan-ish. He even secretly is trying it himself.
  • My kids are healthy. Gee whiz. I can’t say enough how this makes me feel warm fuzzy and guilty as hell all at the same time. Yeah, I know. I’m pretty effed up to feel guilty about healthy children. But between the friends I know whose children have suffered through cancer or the families I know with Asperger’s and Autism, I feel like I dodged a bullet somehow. Now, if that cannon were to fire in my direction one day, I would maybe change my tune. But I really appreciate my children and all the milestones they’ve accomplished.
  • I have great friends. I have great ‘real’ friends and great ‘virtual’ friends. I’ll explain. I have girlfriends that I have known for years, have been there for the births of my children, my wedding, my ugly shoe phase in college, my bed rest during pregnancies, my children’s baptisms, at the bus stop to be there when I couldn’t, for carpooling, for birthdays, coffee dates, dinner dates… the list goes on. I also have friends who I have never met in my life. They see me only through my blog and my Facebook blog page. They give me accolades and validation that I feel I don’t deserve sometimes. But I always appreciate it and drink it in. Because it feels so damn good to get appreciated!
  • I have complete use of my faculties. Okay, this might not last forever, and except for the slight tinkle when I laugh, sneeze or jump on a trampoline- I am so grateful to be upright and functioning!! I am not 600 pounds lying in a bed for a forklift to take me to the doctor. I do not need a wheelchair or a speak n spell device like Stephen Hawking to communicate. I can go for a run. Play with my kids. Dance a spaz dance to LMFAO. Cuz you know I do!
  • I don’t have to go to a well for water. Gosh darn if I don’t complain about chores on a daily basis. And wouldn’t it be grand if the cat would just poop in the toilet instead of the litter box? But really? I have machines that do most of the work. Water comes magically out of a faucet. The washing machine beats and spins my clothes until they are clean. All I have to do is fold them. Although, by the length of time they sit in laundry baskets in the hall way, you would think that was the hardest task in the world.
  • I have freakin’ Amazon Fresh delivering groceries to my door! Yes- people. I can sit in my $100 Lululemon yoga pants and buy organic kale at my computer and it comes the next morning. The beauty of the USA people!

Now let’s not get all mistaken by this sunshine and unicorn post. There’s shitty shit going on in the world. Even in my neighborhood. I buy supplies for needy kids at my son’s school. There’s a frickin’ SWAT team in my city today, actually because some asshole shot at someone in a home. This ain’t Beverly Hills folks!

But I’m going to smell the roses, AND the freshly ground espresso. I’m going to try and be happy that I CAN cook dinner for my family because I have the food and the appliances to do so. (although sometimes that shit gets so old…)

Yep. That’s my Mr. Rogers post for you today. Won’t you be my neighbor? Remember, he always sang- “It’s such a good feeling, to know you’re alive…” Sing it my friends!

Skinny guys rule.

*And just let me say, I don’t mean fat people don’t rule, or regular, average size people don’t rule. It’s just for the sake of my skinnier than normal husband- okay?

In defense of skinny people that wish they weren’t so thin- this post is for you. (Seriously, not many have sympathy for you.)

Also, this is a chance for me to complain needlessly about the skinny people I live with. My husband and two children. I’m a size 6/8 and I’m the fat one. Please don’t take this the wrong way- I don’t want anyone griping at me for my gripes. You try living with Jack Sprat.

This will also be categorized under posts that my husband will roll his eyes at.

My husband is 6’2″ and about 150 pounds or so.  He’s 41 and has weighed the same since 1988. It’s really a freak of nature how he stays so thin. That, or he has a tapeworm.

Try being around a guy that is skinnier than you after you’ve passed week 16 of a pregnancy. I outweighed him most of the last 12 years. It’s a bitch.

I’m sorry James.

I’m always complaining about how I would like to lose 10 pounds. I USED to have a fast metabolism. And it’s not slow as a sloth slow, but it isn’t what it used to be. Pregnancy changed all that. I could put away a Mexican dinner at one setting. I barely exercised and you could see my ribs. I wore a size 2 easily. Now I fight for every pound to NOT gain. I have practically eliminated alcohol intake, have become a ‘sort of vegan’(The Reluctant Vegan). Work out. A few times a week. I definitely can do better. I love carbs. I love bread and corn. Popcorn, corn chips, tortilla chips. Corn is the bane of my muffin top. Bread is too. White bread sometimes with butter, but not since giving up dairy. Avocados are my new vice. With chips of course.  Curse them. My metabolism has predictably slowed. I’m almost 40. It’s bound to happen.

I remember in my 20s feeling upset over zits I had. Not serious acne, just troublesome, gross white heads on my chin. Ugh. It drove me nuts. I would make deals with God to clear up my skin. I would ask him if I could be 10 pounds heavier if I just had clear skin. My skin is clear now. What is the statute of limitations on deals with God?

Then there’s tapeworm boy (I’ll explain this later.): James will have a bowl of ice cream EVERY night. He can eat a bag of chips while he watches a football game. He never eats breakfast and he rarely exercises- hello? Two of Dr. Oz’s rules for losing weight- he breaks! He puts sour cream and cheese on everything. He can eat a box of Kraft mac and cheese. But then on the flip side- he’ll ‘forget’ to eat. Yeah, that’s such bull shit! He’ll work from home, have a latte in the morning, forget to eat, then at about 2 in the afternoon realize he’s famished. See? Total bull shit. Who does that? I am starved by 11 am and need 2nd breakfast like a Hobbit or something.

There was a time about 20 years ago he tried to bulk up. He protein loaded and worked out all the time. I think he put on about 5 pounds of muscle in about 4 months. Waaa, waa, waa. (That’s me fake-crying.)

I hate when his side of the family makes a big deal about his thinness. As if it’s something new. When was he ever chubby? Never!

It seems like Owen is following in James’ skinny footsteps. He’s a bean pole with no meat on him. A Jack Sprat type like his dad. He doesn’t like being asked about why he’s so skinny. James doesn’t really like it either. It’s not fun to poke fun at anyone’s appearance regardless if they’re skinny or fat. (“Real” women have curves- Really …?)

Recently, James is embracing his skinniness. Especially since his peers are starting that tire around the middle.  His brother jokes that he has a tapeworm. This makes total sense. He can only eat this much and NOT gain weight, if he was feeding a creature in his abdomen like Alien. Not to worry, he doesn’t exhibit any other signs of having a parasite. His cholesterol is safe, especially for his age (40s), and he’s otherwise healthy. So when we go out to dinner and he orders his Fettucini Alfredo with a side of garlic bread and a ceasar salad with extra cheese, he pats his tummy and says, “gotta feed the tapeworm”. Oh geez.

Well alright then. Hey, skinny guys rule. (James’ motto)

Plus, in 20 years when he’s 60, I think it will catch up with him. Now we just need to figure out his Mcdreamy head of hair. He’s had the same hair since high school too. Like I said- the guy is a freak of nature. In a nice way though. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you babe!

Some cute and skinny famous guys:

Andrew Garfield- cute, skinny, and English (oh and hair like James too!)

David Beckham- I'm not crazy for tats, but again- cute, skinny, English

Team Edward. Twilight haters hush up. Cute, skinny, English. Hmmm, I'm sensing a pattern here.

Adrien Brody. I'm not a huge fan. But of this picture I am. Oh, and not English. Skinny but ripped.

Cute. Skinny. not English or famous- but my favorite for sure. Gorgeous.

The reluctant vegan.

Okay, let me start by saying a few things. (That sounds ridiculous. I’m always saying a few things.)

I am not in any way imposing my choices on anyone. These are my personal choices that work for me. Maybe they will work for you too. Maybe not. But please don’t whine to me how much you love your meat and dairy and that ‘real people’ don’t eat squirrel food. That’s bull shit. Okay, my husband has always said I eat squirrel food, so now I’m just living up to his expectations.

I’ve been a ‘vegan’ for 21 days now. I say vegan with ‘ around it, because I still don’t believe it myself. But I will say this- I lasted Superbowl Sunday, a weekend in LA for the Grammys (with a stop at a steak house on Rodeo drive) and Valentine’s day; and I didn’t cheat!! Yay me!

I love food. I love good food. I love really fancy food. Exotic food. I even love crap food. I admit to a Taco Bell burrito now and then. Or a bag of Doritos. Or yes, a bowl of Cap ‘n’ Crunch. So I have no food prejudices. However, I’m learning more and more that food is the gateway to our well being. OH yeah- let me say that again. “FOOD IS THE GATEWAY TO OUR WELL BEING”. Snap. I’m like Oprah.

My friends started this diet before Christmas called the Engine 2 diet. It’s a book all about plant based whole foods. Meaning- nothing processed, no fats or added salt or sugar, no meat, no dairy. Wow, sounds awful doesn’t it?

But I like a challenge and deep down, I mean deep, deep, deep down, I knew I was lactose intolerant in a really bad way. But to take me away from my tea with milk and all my yummy bread and butter- gasp- was it possible?

There’s a gradual way to this diet. But I just jumped in all balls to the wall. Why not? Baby steps would just make me cheat or make excuses, so I headed in and didn’t look back.

You’re asking- am I doing this to lose weight? Duh! Who wouldn’t? Yes, I can afford to lose a few pounds. I don’t have to. But I like when the muffin doesn’t hang over the jeans. I like thighs that don’t squish together when I walk. So sure, losing weight is great. Have I lost a bunch? Five pounds is all. But five pounds is something.

Also- you’re thinking- but how on earth does she get her protein and proper calcium? Well, easy. There’s proteins in whole foods everywhere. From legumes to mushrooms, spinach to grains- it’s in there.

AND- calcium you ask. Well, think about this- we have the largest dairy and meat industry and the highest case of osteoporosis in this country. Hmm, coinkidink? Asian countries where their diets are primarily vegetable based have almost no osteoporosis. Could it be dairy is evil and full of additives and crap that we have been spoon fed by our FDA to think it’s good for us? Okay… forget I said that.

Now ask me how I feel.

I feel great! A little TMI warning here- I don’t have the stomach and digestion problems I had so much. Translation- gas and bad poops. I always blamed food like coffee or the apple I ate gave me gas, or wow, ‘my system really doesn’t like bananas’. NO. It was that it didn’t like the milk or half and half I was having with other stuff.

Do I want to cheat? Sometimes. Like I said, I managed to stick it out through Valentine’s day and a steak house without cheating. Sometimes a hot fudge sundae sounds really good. And maybe one day I will have one. But I also think how awful I will feel the next day. What will I do at Christmas when my mom makes goose and Yorkshire pudding? I’ll probably have some. There’s no diet police. Just my lower intestine talking to me.

I have a new love for almond milk and quinoa granola. It’s amazing how satisfying lentils can be. Who would have thought roasted cauliflower could taste so good? Plus, it’s organic, non GMO and good for you.

I feel so much better. Add the new thyroid medication, exercising a little more, and I might just shun PMS right out of my life.

Well, slow down there pardner- haven’t been through that roller coaster yet. We’ll see what a couple more weeks brings. But my energy is better, and I think I have a few less wrinkles. I’m aging backwards!

Again, just sharing- not preaching. Think about what ails you. Think about what you eat. Maybe there’s a connection.

I will not look down my nose at any meat eaters. I’m not going to throw paint on someone’s fur coat. I might even stray once in awhile to a croissant. STEP AWAY FROM THE FRO YO! Almost forgot myself there.

Oh- and gin and tonics are totally vegan. Just a little is fine.

If you are interested in the book- here’s the link:

The Engine 2 Diet

Doesn't that look fresh and delicious? courtesy of greenwaycafe.co.uk

Ladies- love yourselves!

I am doing this for my benefit.

I am constantly beating myself up for not being ‘perfect’.

The fact that I didn’t work out that day, what I weighed at the dr.’s office, how I forgot to give the kids their vitamins before they went to school. How the kale I had good intentions for but got all slimy forgotten in the back of the veggie drawer in the fridge. How I’ve spent James’ mid life crisis sports car money on eye cream and ‘youth’ serums.

So here’s a picture I will make full size for my bathroom. Except looking at it makes me think that this girl has some serious muscle tone I am lacking. But still- it’s a good message.

No stick skinny folks here. No offense to anyone stick skinny. Just trying to make myself feel better.

And when you’ve got five minutes- watch this video. For the sake of yourself, your daughter’s and granddaughter’s- we need to remember there’s so much out there than what’s in a magazine.

Kate Winslet- “I don’t look like that video.”

Feel free to share, copy, put on a t-shirt; whatever. I know I will.

‘REAL’ women have curves. Really? So what are us skinny bitches then?

I’m not saying I’m skinny. I’m not saying that women should be curvy. I’m saying that when we say phrases like, “Real women have curves”-  then doesn’t that just make the skinny women wonder what makes them a real woman?

I know a lot of beautiful women of all shapes. Not morbidly obese. Just skinny to curvy. Short and tall.  Just your garden variety of size 0’s to 14’s.

There was a recent blogger’s Facebook wall, Mom’s who Drink and Swear, that posted a Daily UK article on a size 12 model, which featured a picture of what’s considered plus-size, and the typical size 0 model next to her. Hundreds of comments on the Facebook page ensued of different women defending their opinions on what is beautiful. Curvy women defending their curves, and skinny women defending their skinnyness, athletic women, women who work out, maintain a thin appearance- all of them. They all had opinions. Here’s what: Our culture defines skinny as pretty for magazines, and heavy as unattractive. Pretty is also zit free skin, smooth-frizzless hair, whiter teeth, glowing less pasty skin…. the list goes on. And yeah- it’s pretty much true. So why do we get so up in a tizzy over skinny vs. fat?

Why should the curvy size 14 ladies have to defend the fact that if they are 5’10” being over 160 pounds is the norm. Gals that are a natural size 2, ones that have metabolisms like thoroughbreds, shouldn’t be made to feel they are inadequate because people think they aren’t eating. It’s nobody’s damn business!

Here’s a confession. I don’t want to be fat. I’m a size 6 and it irks me that if I were to walk in to a model agency they would call me a Plus size model because I’m not stick thin. I don’t want to be called Plus Size. I’m average. Thin according to the American average. I like feeling thin. I like the way my clothes look, I like the way I feel. So what? Sue me. But I have no business being a model either. I don’t walk in to Boeing and decide I’d like to start designing airplanes.

I have tall friends that know when they aren’t at their physical best. Or, who are very comfortable being tall, curvy and full figured- not fat. Healthy, proper BMI, all the medical stats check. But their physique supports a curvy figure. Plain and simple.

I think what it is for me, I like the look of muscle. I like when I see muscle definition on my legs or arms. It says strength. It says, I’ve been working on something. I’ve been doing something. I can run a 5k, I can climb stairs, I can swing on a trapeze. It’s a reflection of all the things I’m capable of. When I see flabby flesh, squishy thighs and thick arms (on me, mind you), I think of what I should be doing. How I shouldn’t be wasting my time. That if it means so much to me, why not just make it happen?

So in closing. Skinny people- don’t look down on the curvy gals and say they need to shape up. And curvy girls, don’t look at a skinny girl and say- go eat a cheeseburger. Because I know girls who eat cheeseburgers and still are ridiculously small. Instead, say, ‘hey, your eyes are pretty in that color sweater.’ OR, ‘I love the way you smile.’ OR ‘thanks for laughing with me and not at me’.

Saying something is made real over something else, isn’t really fair and continues the ‘I’m better than you’ cycle. It’s like saying, ‘REAL SMART people wear glasses’, OR ‘REAL dancers are black’, OR ‘REAL good food is only French’. See what I mean?

THIS is what we should teach our daughters. Oh, and our sons, because if they are someone’s husband one day, we don’t want them to make their wives feel insecure about their image. That’s a whole different topic…

 

This woman is gorgeous.

Seriously? Why does she need to be considered 'plus'. How about smokin'?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm assuming she's healthy.

 

I'm concerned for this girl though.

Buy my book!

As if it wasn’t hard enough.

They say staying at home raising kids is hard work. Really? I must be doing it wrong because I think it’s the easiest thing in the world! There’s no TPS reports, no budget meetings, no politics or backstabbing. I sit around all day drink Gin and Tonics and watch TV. Oh wait… that was a dream I had. Never mind.

This is where I introduce an acronym for my new (not new, just new to us) phrase of Are You Fucking Kidding Me? (AYFKM?) My family says I’m swearing too much lately, I think it’s some leftover hostility from my 20s I never released, so I’m trying to use curse words less often, even in print.

Parenting is hard work. No shit.

Now the ‘experts’ say that raising children full time at home, makes you less healthy than if you go off and work in some actual paying job, according to the American Psychological Association’s “Journal of Family Psychology” article.

AYFKM? Yeah. DUH.

Thanks. So now I have the guilt of, “oh, I never pursued my career past the  rearing of my children, and devoting all that time to them is going to shorten my life span so now I won’t be able to enjoy my grandchildren.”

Let’s rewind a little shall we?

I’ve always wanted to stay home and raise my children. My mom did this for us kids. She was completely there for me. She packed my lunches, made dinner, did the laundry, sewed our clothes, everything. My dad worked hard at his job Monday through Friday. It was pretty much your traditional 70s/80s upbringing.

After college, I fell in love, got married and had a kid. Well it took 5 years, but still, I didn’t take the option of running away to Hollywood or Broadway to pursue my acting career. Something deep down told me to stay put since love and family was probably going to prevail longer than any waitressing acting jobs that might come.

I have no regrets about this. None.

My job at the time of getting pregnant with Emma was a glorified administrative assistant for a start-up company. What am I saying? It wasn’t glorified. It was hard ass work. I did the job of 3 people and was paid the salary of an admin, but it was good experience and great medical benefits, if I remember. So I stuck it out and counted the days until my maternity leave. (I was put on bed rest at 25 weeks of my pregnancy, but that’s another story altogether). Lucky for me the company went under while I was on maternity leave, so I didn’t have to leave my sweet pink bundle of joy and diapers called Emma, for my stingy, troll of a boss that micromanaged every trip to the bathroom I took. Now I took my boss (Emma) with me to the bathroom!

So staying home with her was a blessing. BUT, GEEZUS it was HARD. I mean, really HARD. No adult interaction, no showers, no make up, no cute clothes, saggy engorged boobie bags that looked like a cow’s, nursing bras that had been leaked through so many times I didn’t care anymore. Feeling like a zombie. Rinse and repeat….

The idea of pulling myself together enough to leave the house to look professional, spend 8 hours away from her and then to come home and have to spend half the night up breast feeding, just didn’t sound like a party.

So I admire those that do this! Being a mom is hard. A mom of a newborn especially. Heading off to work must be painful.

But, and I mean a big BUT, I can see the rewards. To get paid for what you do is a good thing.  Intellectual stimulation from peers and colleagues- good. Going out to lunch- good. Looking like a human with clothes and makeup- good.

I found this excerpt of the article to sum it up: “After interviewing hundreds of mothers repeatedly over the course of a decade, the researchers found that those who worked 32 hours per week or less were more sensitive to their kids’ needs, less likely to have symptoms of depression, and more likely to split household duties with their spouses than mothers who were not employed.” AYFKM?

And therein lies my problem. I’m depressed and don’t share household duties. Okay, I’m not really depressed. I take my meds and do fine. But I know a lot that are, and I’ve been down some dark times myself. And I always feel like I’m doing all the household duties myself. Not very well, but still.

Then the kicker later in the article:

“Additionally, mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms may have more difficulty seeking employment or keeping a job.” AYFKM?

Fantastic. Now I’m just screwed if I did choose to go back to work. Who wants a whiny, not employed in a decade housewife to come work for them? Apparently, no one.

Here’s what it boils down to:

I chose not to work. I never regret staying at home with my children. In fact now it’s the greatest. They go off to school, I pretend to get stuff done around the house, they come home from school and I’m in a good mood since absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I’m not getting paid, I don’t need to prove anything to anybody. My children are fine individuals. I’m raising them real good.

I don’t need an article to tell me I’m depressed and overly sensitive- my husband tells me this all the time.

Pretend I never wrote this blog. I could have started with the last three sentences and have been done. But alas, I just wanted other depressed, pill popping, gin and tonic drinking moms to feel empathy with me.

(borrowed from Bluntcard) Look how happy she looks!

Here’s that full crappy article if you want to read for yourself:

Working Moms are Healthier