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I’m about to do something I’ve never done. See below. (And I’m not sure why my hair looks gray on top. It’s not.)

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen on the Weight Struggle Bus:

I know your pain. I was with you in more than spirit a year ago. As a reminder, here’s a photo from Trish the Human’s wedding on Sept. 9 last year:

I cringe when I see that photo. I’m clearly trying — and failing — to hide behind Dominic.

Here’s a photo from a year earlier:

Notice the body language. (I’d say to notice the dark, slimming colors, but I wear black despite how much of me there is.)

I was MISERABLE. How to hide in photos was the least of my worries.

Bigger worries:

  • High cholesterol
  • Inability to give campus tours without getting out of breath (especially up one particular hill)
  • Ridiculous amount of self consciousness
  • Negative self talk
  • Wardrobe reduced by 80 percent
  • Snoring
  • Sleeping even less than I do now
  • Hot all the damn time

I’ve shared with you my turning point. It’s different for everyone, but let me say this about that:

It is NEVER going to get easier.

There is no magic pill.

Surgery can be a fix for some but still requires changes in eating habits.

You have to decide you are going to do something about your health. Then DO IT.

The program I chose worked for me*, but may not work for you.

Despite the fact that I’m married to someone in the CrossFit Cult (or maybe, actually, BECAUSE of that), I hate exercising. I lost almost 50 pounds by controlling what went in my piehole.

Now that I’ve lost the weight, I go to the gym three times a week for my Biddy Boot Camp.

I hit my goal weight in April, and I have maintained it with very little effort.

I FEEL GREAT!

That’s what I say to anyone who will listen. People not even living with me notice the difference.

To that end, I’m going to do something I’ve never, ever done — and never would have done if I hadn’t lost the weight: Publicly post a bikini pic. No filter. No cropping. No Photoshop.

Here we go.

I know I still have some work to do, but I feel more confident than I have in more than 15 years. I’m brave enough to take and share this photo, anyway.

And if this move inspires even ONE of you to make a change for your sake and for the sake of your family, then my nervousness at doing it will have been worth it.

If I can do it, you can too. I believe in you.

Love and all my best wishes for a healthier you,
Beth

 

* Eddie is now a coach in the program. Send me a message if you want me to hook you up.

 

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Dear Friends,

Back in my day (someone get me my walker), we cruised around Stone Mountain Park after school.

Now the Dunkin’ Donuts is the hangout.

According to Dominic, the crowd is hit or miss.

Last Friday featured quite a crowd, though. When I went to get him and Gideon, I decided I needed an iced coffee.

Inside, I practically needed a machete to hack through the hormones in the air.

As soon as I got back in the car, I got hit with this:

Dominic: At least the thots we liked last year were cute. These are obnoxious and covered in acne. These seventh and eighth graders are awful. Gideon is more mature than any of them.

Gideon, an eighth grader: I really am. It’s true.

Dominic: He can take a hit too.

Me: Wait. What?

Apparently they went to a nearby park before DD to play football.

And that’s why they didn’t want me to pick them up too soon. And ignored my texts.

Dominic: I saw your question mark. Mama, we was out with the boys.

(Gideon informed me it’s supposed to be written this way: “We was out wit da bois.” Shudder.)

During said football game, Dominic had a run-in with a tree.

He saw it as an occasion to go into full drama mode.

I do have to tell you all that he’s been mostly great since he started ninth grade. More from Friday:

Dominic: There are three girls who said they caught feelings for me.

Me: Do you like any of them?

Dominic: Naw. I gotta get me those As.

(Not with that grammar you don’t. But I digress.)

It’s true that the notifications I’ve been getting from Campus Parent have not made my blood pressure spike.

And I made him laugh this week too. We were trying to edge into traffic, and I wanted to slide in front of a particular car.

Me: I’m going to slip in here because Drake isn’t paying attention.

Dominic: [Looks up from his phone to see my reference.]

Me: [Pulling in front and waving] Thanks, KeKe!

Dominic: [Looks at me in shock and actually chuckles.]

Me: You’re impressed I knew that aren’t you?

Dominic: Yes, because you listen to this [referencing The Pixies coming out of the speaker]!

Me: Listen: They were a seminal act of the late ’80s.

Dominic: [Exaggerated eye roll]

So, friends, I’m hoping we’ve turned a corner. (Don’t tell me it won’t last. Let me have my delusions.)

Cautiously optimistic,
Beth

 

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Dear Dudes,

When you hear “girls’ night out” or “ladies weekend,” what do you think goes on?

One of my friends said, “Hair braiding and pillow fights in lingerie.” He’s been watching too much … of a certain … uh … genre.

Another said, “Drinking and dragging guys. And dancing too.”

In my experience, the latter is more accurate. But perhaps I don’t get out enough. Or it’s that I have fairly tame friends.

Here’s a peek into what happened at a recent get-together with some female friends of mine. We’ve been friends since we bonded in some work trenches more than 15 years ago.

THE GOOD

1. Pedicures. No ladies weekend is complete without a trip to the nail salon.

2. Exercise. All of us got in a little exercise by walking and talking on the beach.

Goat Yoga Lisa went a little further (naturally): Pushups at 10 p.m. Aimee provided resistance. I provided Eddie via FaceTime so he could critique her form.

THE BAD

1. Junk food. This was not a time to be healthy.

 

Just look at the food and beverages visible in this photo. Note that Becky has thoughts on Oyster Bay: “It’s no Sutter Home.”

2. Adult beverages. Some people come prepared.

THE UGLY

1. Celebrity behavior. If the trashy magazines we purchased with the wine and junk food are any indication, you are not allowed to pull your bathing suit out of your butt. For shame, Britney! (Just kidding. That’s normal behavior for all of us.)

2. Everyone but us. This is the real story of ladies weekend: It’s a time to vent and commiserate. Stop, collaborate and listen.

Becky regaled us with stories of the Top Tier Type A moms at her children’s school who are wound up about pee on the seat in the bathrooms. Apparently Decatur and East Lake are filled with choice personalities who are EXTREMELY involved in a variety of aspects of community life. One of her friends is consumed with a street sign.

Aimee: Does she have a lot of time on her hands?
Becky: Well, she’s single and has no kids.
Lisa: That means yes.

And speaking of kids, yes, we tell those tales too. We’re trying hard not to scar them like we were scarred.

Aimee: When I was 12, my stepfather gave me a shirt from Hooters that said “More than a mouthful.”
The rest of us: <Loud groans of dismay>

The bottom line?

Yes, there was some drinking and dragging.

A couple of us did a few steps of “Single Ladies,” but I’m not sure I’d classify that little bit as dancing.

I did toss a throw pillow at Lisa, but we didn’t braid each other’s hair.

The sleepwear of choice was the T-shirt/pajama pants combo, not lingerie.

So, there you have it: A peek behind the ladies weekend curtain.

Probably not all that you thought it would be.

Sorry, not sorry.

They don’t exist to please you. In fact, you guys are more often than not the reason they exist.

🙂

Love you anyway,
Beth

 

 

* Thanks, Kool & The Gang!

 

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O Canada!

I’ve enjoyed my short time in your Ontario province’s capital city of Toronto. It’s like New York with nicer people.

For example, an elderly lady stopped me to tell me I have a great walk. (That’s a first.)

The food has been spectacular.

Just look at this noodle bowl full of hand-pulled noodles.

And before you suggest poutine, know this: I’ve tried poutine. I like poutine. I couldn’t find poutine in the restaurants in my hotel’s immediate vicinity. I’m still working on it!

I did find a moose, though.

On a break from my conference, I did do one important touristy thing: I went to the top of the CN Tower.

I love heights. I would have done the EdgeWalk, but I didn’t bring the right shoes. I did appreciate the glass floor.

But perhaps not as much as others.

Even if I hadn’t been wearing a dress, I’m not sure I would have rolled around on the floor like a baby on a play mat.

Anyway, I’ve had a great time. Thank you for your hospitality. Hope to see you again soon!

Yours,
Beth

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Dear People of the World:

I think a little etiquette lesson is in order.

If you are in a public place, you cannot behave like you are in your living room.

For example, if you are eating at a restaurant, even one as casual as The Varsity, you CANNOT talk on the phone as loud as humanly possible.

Don’t be this guy, who shared with the entire place his distaste for some cashier’s long fingernails.

Why do I know this? Because I was 20 feet away and could hear him clearly. He made me want to wolf down my fries and flee. And YOU KNOW Varsity fries are to be savored.

I’m so annoyed.

Similarly, you should not watch a video on full volume in a public place, ESPECIALLY not a fine-dining restaurant. Yet that is exactly what my cruise friends and I witnessed in the ship’s steakhouse. All 11 of us turned to face this rude man with looks of shock on our faces.

To no one’s surprise, he didn’t notice. He was too engrossed in some YouTube video — for at least FIVE MINUTES (which is a long time when you are peeved).

If you need more lessons on what’s acceptable (and not) in today’s society, check out this Forbes piece.

Your fellow humans will appreciate your attention to this matter.

Thanks,
Beth, a considerate and quiet person — in public

 

 

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Dear Dominic:

Your time with the ingrates camp children changed you for the better. Thank GOD.

For one thing, it taught you a little responsibility.

It also taught you a wee bit of patience. For example, renewing your passport took nearly two hours.

To your credit, you bore it better than I did.

And as a reward to both of us, we greased up at The Varsity.

(Absolutely not on my diet. Totally worth it.)

And then last night you snuggled up to me while we were watching “Stranger Things.” I was startled, to say the least. And I was afraid to snuggle back for fear you’d retreat. Trying to love you is like trying to feed a feral cat: I have to be patient and let you come to me.

You didn’t even mock me for declaring my love for Steve, single mother of five.

We haven’t argued in weeks. It’s some kind of record.

I’m not complaining.

In fact, I’m pretty damn happy.

Keep up the good work.

Love,
Mama

 

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Dear Carnival:

It was so great to see you again. I’m sorry our three-family tribe cheated on you with Royal Caribbean.

It won’t happen again.

You have everything we want:

Comfy chairs where Edgar can nap, and Pat can play his games

Photographers willing to take unusual pics

Plans

Limited tolerance (for what, I’m not sure)

Maybe for Swedish girls throwing gang signs (?)

Places for Uno battles to break out

PLENTY of places

Places to play with children too

Even enough room to pay a push-up penalty if you are too loud while playing Uno

An unflappable wait staff

Exotic food liked smoked oysters with some kind of weird froth

Games designed to titillate while taking Edgar’s money

Elevators big enough for parties of 11

The ability to get intimate with sea life

And, most importantly, the chance for friends to get together and have fun year after year

There is only one thing we needed but couldn’t have: unlimited bacon.

Fix that, and we’ll love you forever.

Still, we’ll see you next year.

Wet, sloppy stingray kisses,
Beth

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