Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Broken Resolutions (Already) and BFL

I know it has been a couple of weeks since I last wrote here in my blog.

Truth be told, I totally ruined any chances of ever writing in this again when in my last post I made the huge error of deciding that my New Year's resolution would be to not write here unless I had some sort of point. That right there killed any ability I had to write in my blog unless I wanted to immediately cancel out my resolution.

You see which part won.

I really shouldn't make resolutions. They are depressing when you don't keep them.

Maybe if I'm really lucky I will be able to throw in a good point today so that I can not completely fail in the resolution...we'll see.

I went out to dinner last Friday with a good friend of mine from high school. We hadn't seen each other in years, but it didn't seem to matter. We ate really bad food and had a wonderful time.

One thing that came up in our discussion--and I told her this was what I was going to write about in my blog--was that there are some things that people will not show other people, even if you offered them a large amount of cold hard cash.

The 'thing' in particular that I had in mind was the "Before" photo of anyone doing Body-for-Life--as long as you haven't as yet reduced your mass to an "After" type body.

Body-for-Life, in case you aren't aware, is a diet and exercise lifestyle that includes lowering your fat intake, exercising daily (alternating between cardio and weight training), having 6 smaller meals per day instead of three large ones, and having one blessed day known as your "free day" where you can eat ANYTHING you want. Most people live for that day.

At the beginning of this program, they encourage you to take photos of yourself in a swimming suit. This photo is to be posted somewhere where you will see it and be motivated to continue with the outlined diet and exercise. Because, seriously...who wants to be a 'before' photo?

I happen to have 'before' photos of myself.

You will never, ever, ever see them. And that is because I still look exactly like my 'before' photos.

It is funny how the vanity of humans make it so that the instant we become an 'after' photo, we will be more than happy to show those frightening 'before' photos. I would actually look forward to showing them if I had an 'after' body.

The reaction in my mind would be someone taking the photos from my hand and gasping "That was YOU???"

(I would at that time smile demurely--assuming that my 'after' body also included the ability to suddenly be demure...right now I'm not sure demure is in anyone's description of me--and say, "Yes, that was me. Shocking isn't it? Look at me now. --I would pause and dramatically add--I can be dramatic even now--"It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but I love my 6-pack abs and my size 4 jeans.")

Can you be demure and mention being a size 4 at the same time? I think the word demure becomes something a lot less lady-like..

Showing the 'before' photo before there is an after photo is not nearly as satisfying.

The thought of it is actually frightening.

Can you imagine? "Here, look at this 'before' photo of me."

Stunned silence. Glances from the photo, to my gelatinous self, back to the photo. "Uh. Before what?"

At least in real life I have clothes that cover my 'before' body. Those photos are 'before' body in a bikini. If you are a 'before' photo type, it is easy to ignore when you are always fully clothed. Throw a swimming suit into the mix and there is no more hiding. It is cruel, but effective.

I know you've seen people in bikinis who should never, ever be out in public in such a state of undress. I have seen them and have actually thought to myself, 'They must have a fabulous self-image to have looked in the mirror and thought that looked good." Good for them.

Not so good for the rest of us.

Maybe someday I will post my 'before' photos. That would be a really nice day for me, because it would mean that I have finally achieved my 'after' body.

Either that, or I will have joined the ranks of the bikini-wearing heavy folk who have magical mirrors, good self-images, or rose-colored glasses. Or my eyes will be poked out. Or all my friends will be even larger than me so I'll be known as the skinny one (thanks Sinbad for that idea...).

Pretty much don't count on ever seeing my photos.

But for fun, you can go here and see the before and after photos on Body-For-Life. If you go there and read about the program, you might learn something--which will make this post meaningful. Which means I will have not broken my resolution.


Still a "Before" body type, but brilliant just the same. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

From Shallow Rambling to Waist-Deep Pointed Trivia

I'm not a very deep person. As a matter of fact, if I were a swimming pool I would probably be the shallow end--but at the TOP of the stairs going into the know where I'm talking, the part where you stand in water to your ankles and wonder if you should dive in or keep edging your way deeper.

In other words, I'm almost dry-land I'm so shallow.

(Reading my blogs probably points that out since I admit that I am a rambler without much aim)

I have, however, been reading articles in magazines and newspapers and online from authors who are consistently writing about subjects that are important to them, yet they are able to add the humor and fun that makes reading their articles entertaining. They are featured writers in their respective columns for a reason. I admire their ability and prose.

For example, I think the ESPN writer Rick Reilly is a hoot. He writes his opinions well and is able to add phrases like: "It's like being named Miss Ogallala. Or Best Amish Electrician." That is funny to me. (read his whole article I took that from here)

Mr. Reilly is knowledgeable on sports. He has an actual opinion and is able to get that point he is trying to make across to a lot of readers. He is able to be funny enough to get those same readers to make a point of reading him consistently.

Another more local newspaper man I enjoy reading is Robert Kirby from the Salt Lake Tribune. He causes a lot of lifted eyebrows in the Mormon community--which is exactly why he writes for the Trib and not for Deseret News, even though he happens to be a member of said community. :) He actually lives near me, and I often pass him in the frozen food section of the local grocery store...his photo looks just like him. Poor guy. ;) An example of his work can be found here That is his piece for today's paper.

In the past when I have thought about the kind of writer I would like to be, I assumed I could just write and all would be well.

Then I attended some writer's conferences and learned that I should write what I know, or get to really know something so that I can write about it. One speaker at a conference said to become an expert in something and then people would want to read your book and have you speak about that subject that you have become an expert on. (Apparently run-on sentences would be a subject I could excel at...and dangling prepositions, and excessive use of parenthesis).

After that particular conference I realized I really have no single minded knowledge of any particular subject. Unless you count 'How to Go Insane with Seven Children or Less', or 'The Best Places in Your House to Hide the Good Snacks'.

I suppose Kirby doesn't have a single subject he is attached to but he has been writing his column so long that no one cares. Now they just read it for the laughs and to see if anyone in their church congregation resembles people he has mocked.

I'm rambling again, I know. But there is a point I am trying to make.

I am shallow and have no focused knowledge of any single subject. So against everything I believe in regarding resolutions, I have finally found one I think I might be able to pull off.

My goal is to write blog entries that will have some sense of meaning. Maybe give anyone who reads the blog a tidbit of information that they never knew before.

I'm not kidding myself (or you). I know that what I write here--even with a concerted effort at having actual meaning--will still be classed as rambling trivia. I can't help that part.

I can help directing the blog from rambling trivia to rambling trivia with some sort of point.


And I can try to keep them light in tone. Which is pretty easy, actually since--Hello--I'm shallow. Remember?

I can't guarantee that you'll learn anything from my blogs. I can't even guarantee that I'll write something funny enough to make you want to keep coming back to see what I write next. I can barely promise myself that I'll come up with a topic to write about that will keep me interested enough to keep writing any particular entry.

The only thing I can guarantee is that the sun will rise tomorrow, I will have to come up with something edible for dinner tonight for my family, and that the water in the pool is easier to adjust to if you just jump right in.

So I'm jumping. No diving. No running. No lifeguard on duty. Just me getting used to learning something new, sharing it here on my blog, and at least giving myself a chuckle out of the whole mess, even if no one else does.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I am not a fan of January.

For one thing, it is too stinkin' cold outside. I am a fan of sun and warmth. Snow and ice? Not so much.

For another, it is the new year so I always contemplate resolutions I should make, resolutions I have failed at achieving, and resolutions that I think other people assume I should make. (In other words, I think far too hard about how much extra poundage I have going and try to justify it by saying that at least I haven't GAINED any weight this past year...which in reality only really means that I have officially hit a much too comfortable rut).

Another reason why I'm not a fan of January is that it is my birthday this month. So I'm not only chubby/stocky/pleasantly plump (take your pick)...but I'm old too.

I have decided though--and I'm only putting this down on the blog so that I can look back on it in a year and remind myself of another resolution that I have made (and am still hopeful that I will attain)--that although I can't do anything about getting older, I CAN do something about being heavier than I would like. So I'm back to the "eat less, move more" plan and am doing my best to not label it as a new year's resolution. It is just me deciding that if I can't stop time, I will not be old and fat, but will instead be old and fit.

This year I'm also not a fan of January because my oldest child will turn 16. That brings on a whole other set of worries. Dating, the drama that comes from dating, the boys that cause the drama...I'm not sure I'm ready for this. My daughter is sure she is ready. I wish I had her confidence.

Of course, with my added age and the 'been-there-done-that' that comes with being my advanced age, I can see more of what my daughter is in store for than she does. And she has the added burden of being pretty and nice and friendly to everyone. I had the nice and friendly part down when I was 16, but I was never as self-assured of myself as she is.

I can't decide if that is a good thing for her or a bad thing.

But it doesn't help my worry factor for her at all.

January would probably be more palatable if I snow skied. But I am one of those rare Utahns who has only skied one time. Ever. And the rented skis I had were cheap and the bindings broke on the first run down the mountain. So it wasn't exactly a successful outing.

Skiing wouldn't solve all my problems. I would still be fluffy and old. I would still worry about my 16 year old daughter. And I probably would still prefer the heat over the cold. I just have one hangup about skiing that I've had trouble getting past enough to attempt the sport again, and that is that I don't know how to stop. If I could snow plow, or do the fancy turn that brings me to a standstill, I think skiing might hold some appeal.

But since I can't stop in skis, all I do is picture me hurtling down the frozen mountainside trying to dodge other skiers and various trees, praying that by some miracle I will stop without causing bodily damage to either myself or some unlucky bystander(s).

("Go that way, really fast. If anything gets in your way...turn.")

Maybe I will just stick to working out in my basement, trying to skip the sweets, worrying about my daughter, and trying to stay warm until the sun decides to live in Utah again so I can do some real skiing--the kind that involves water and boats and a single slalom ski.

Hibernating until February would be a nice second option.

To wrap up my rambling first blog of the new year, I'd like to stick with my John Cusak movie quotes. It won't make a whole lot of sense, but it does fit with the whole skipping the sweets theory. That is a grasp at a straw, but I'll take it.

If for no other reason than because I love this quote. :)

"You know, junk food doesn't deserve the bad rap that it gets. Take these pork rinds for example. This particular brand contains two percent of the R.D.A. - that's Recommended Daily Allowance - of riboflavin. "

Happy New Year. :)