Thursday, January 31, 2008

Diet myths

There's a popular saying in weight-loss groups that goes like this: "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." Um, I don't think so. Whoever said this definitely never stuffed a fistful of french fries into a piping hot Double-Double.

Here's something else tossed around in these circles that isn't exactly true: In those commercials for diet products like yogurt and Slim-Fast, they often have this slender young woman who warily pulls her thin jeans out of the back of her closet, and when she tries them on OMIGOD! They finally zip up! And off she bounds to the mirror to admire her perfectly flat tummy. Yeah, that's not usually how that experiment goes.

Don't get me wrong, if you're like me, you definitely try for that moment. You just have a habit of showing up to the party like ten pounds too early. So you huff and puff and wiggle and jiggle and twist and tug, and 20 minutes later, you're in. But just as you're about to shoot a victorious fist into the air, you look in the mirror and see that whatever didn't get squeezed into the denim is now bubbling up like an inner tube. Meaning your "thin" jeans make you look like way more of a blubberbutt than you actually are.

So I use pants to measure weight loss in a different way, one that's much easier on the self-esteem: When I can slide my jeans off my body WITHOUT EVEN UNBUTTONING THEM, that's how I know I'm making big-time progress. This week, eight pounds lighter than I was at the start of December, I reached that milestone. My husband can confirm this, since he witnessed the shrieking lady jumping up and down in her underwear, waving jeans above her head. Which I'm thinking would be a far more entertaining commercial.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Catching up

Ten things I have done since my last post:

1. Made my first turkey dinner. Was dismayed to learn that in addition to the bag of giblets stuffed into the bird's chest cavity, there's a second bag in its ass. File under: Who knew?!

2. Received some excellent Christmas gifts, including perfume scented with black cherry, creme anglaise and sandlewood; fuzzy pajamas with actual footsies; and a jar of homemade tomato jam.

3. Stole away with my husband on a romantic hotel mini-vacation right in our very own downtown San Jose, for a weekend of cocktails, corn dogs, a comedy show, more cocktails, ice skating, Indian food, and also cocktails.

4. Joined Weight Watchers and lost 6.3 pounds. Sal joined, too, and has lost more than 12 pounds due to the infuriating fact of life that when a man spends five minutes even PONDERING a celery stalk, his ass gets smaller. Whatever, dude.

5. Participated in a blood drive at work. When I stopped by the restroom to pee before my appointment, I pulled my pants down and my driver's license (which you must bring with you) fell out of my back pocket. Missed the toilet by, like, one centimeter. Had a chuckle about how awful THAT would have been. After giving blood, I stop to pee again. (It is normal for me to pee 20 or 25 times per day.) While pulling up my pants, I hear a tiny, sickening splash. Whirl around and peer into the toilet to find my own smiling face staring back up at me, as my license floats around the water, amid the pee and the toilet paper. I stare, horrified, for about four seconds until I hear the grinding of the automatic flusher starting to rev up. I gasp, and before I know it I have plunged my BANDAGED HAND (due to finger-prick-test at blood drive) into the pee water to retrieve license.

6. Attended weekly trivia night on Mondays at Trials Pub. My husband is some sort of genius trivia savant, so I let him fill out all the answers for our "team" while I devour a big, steaming plate of spicy chicken curry that is so delicious, my mouth filled with saliva even as I typed this.

7. Became a person who wakes up at 6 a.m. (WHILE IT IS STILL DARK) and goes to the gym before work. Focus is mainly on weight-training and yoga. Oh, oh! OK, so this is cool. There's this one yoga pose where you lay on your back and raise your legs over your head. Like bicycles. Did you ever do those in P.E. when you were a kid? Well, it's not as freakin' easy as it was back then. It's called an "inversion pose" and I am HORRIBLE at it. (These photos, while illustrating the pose nicely, are also highly comical.) So while everybody else in the class gently and quietly flows in and out of the pose, I fling my legs up, grasp wildly to get a grip on my ass, and then I crash back to the ground with a noisy THUNK. Anyway, I don't know if it's the weightlifting or the missing pounds or what, but lately I'm actually getting the hang of it. There is still some flinging and falling, but it's more controlled. And it sounds a lot less like a hippopotamus being felled by a jungle rifleman.

8. Saw the following movies: I Am Legend; Cloverfield; Miracle on 34th Street; It's a Wonderful Life; The Orphanage; Waitress; Once; and the most dreary disappointment in cinematic history, Ocean's Thirteen. A.K.A. The Movie That Makes it Painful To Watch CLOONEY, For Christ's Sake.

9. Learned how to make homemade tamales from my mother-in-law. It turns out that masa plus lard plus pork? Not a diet food.

10. Was convinced by my darling friend Robyn that I should start blogging again. You see, here's one thing about me. I start to freak out if I haven't blogged for awhile. I just sit there envisioning all three of you staring at the same dumb post for days and days thinking to yourself, "Lordy, this chick is lame." So in December, when holiday and work madness caused the water to creep up above my ears, I just had to blow the whistle entirely. And then I was afraid to start blogging again, because what if, again, life got too busy and I dropped the ball? But Robyn said blogging some of the time is better than blogging none of the time. Which I can buy. So in 2008 I resolve to blog when I can, and not when I can't, and to be fine with that. And all you have to do is promise to not think I'm lame. Unless I post ACTUAL lame shit. Then you're fine.