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Flabulous

Amy Schumer was recently called out as a woman who inspires us because she is a plus size female who still loves her body.  Amy Schumer, a female who wears a size 6 to an 8, called plus size.  I have to admit, I’m a little surprised to learn that this means I am also a plus size female, and apparently have been since high school.  Perhaps I need to go on a diet and get myself down to a respectable size 2?

The idea that a size 6 is entering plus size territory is insulting, unfair, and pretty disgusting.  I’m not knocking people who have an issue with their weight and are either obese or unhappy with their extra pounds, I simply find it horrifying that we are teaching women to believe that such a small size is “plus” and not skinny enough or socially acceptable.  I’m appalled that we’re sending a message that unless you’re a twig with a sizeable thigh gap, you’re a fat cow who will never be truly attractive but who can at least be confident “for a big girl.”

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Body image is a serious issue, especially among women, and it’s not difficult to see why.  If we’re honestly being told that a size 6 is a plus size, what is a woman wearing a size 12 to think?  She’s a whale?  What about a woman in a size 18?  Too big to leave the house?  Mind you, these are not uncommon sizes for women in this country, and a size 12 can most certainly be a healthy size for a woman, depending on her body type and build.  I’m one of many women who are built curvy and happen to have wider hips and shoulders than the average woman.  That doesn’t mean I’m “huge” or plus size, it’s just how I was put together.  There isn’t a damn thing wrong with it.

I’m sick and tired of the unreasonable expectations that are thrust upon females to look like a magazine cover 24/7 or risk being torn apart by others.  Even celebrities get shit on when they forgo their makeup as they walk the dog or get photographed at an unfortunate angle.  We’ve all seen the various “ugly celebrity” photo montages online and in magazines, making fun of cellulite or bags under the eyes.  It’s tacky and uncalled for.  Why do we find joy in the destruction of others?  Why can’t we be content with the knowledge that we’re all different and those differences make us uniquely special?

If you consider me plus size when my pant size is in the single digits, you can kindly go fuck yourself.  You are the problem.  You are what’s wrong, not my body.  I am fantastic at my current size and I’d be as fantastic in a size 12 as I’d be in a 2.  We don’t need to conform to anyone else’s standards but our own.  Your definition of perfection is not mine.  If you’re offended by someone’s size, look away.  If you need to mock others to feel better about yourself, go get help.  We need to quit praising women for being “fat but still pretty” and accept the fact that the concept of beauty is different from person to person and no one definition is correct over others.  And for God’s sake, stop calling a size 6 “plus size.”

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You Are The Worst

Do you ever get to a point in your day where you feel like giving up on the world?  I hit that point pretty early on today.  The kid being perfect for my husband but ignoring every word I had to say didn’t give me the greatest start to my day.  Annoying my husband by having to repeat myself to the child over and over didn’t help either, so I left feeling pretty crummy.  After dropping the boy at daycare, I was almost t-boned by a Mustang who was paying zero attention to the world around him and total attention to whatever was in his hand (I’m assuming a phone, but it was dark).  This happens quite frequently around daycare; people from all directions all either assume they have the right of way over everyone else or simply pay no mind to any car or pedestrian that may be in their path.  If my husband and I weren’t accustomed to it (which we shouldn’t have to be), I suspect we would have been in an accident or two by now.

Head_On_CollisionAfter getting the hell away from that Mustang, I ended up stuck behind a white car that not only insisted on going 25 miles below the speed limit, but insisted on trying to brake check me every 100 feet or so.  When I reached a point in the road where I could pass the car, it swerved over to straddle the middle line, leaving me no room to pass.  Lucky for me, the car turned onto a different road after a few minutes and spared me the annoyance of being stuck for too long.  When I lived in Connecticut, cars that wished to drive slower than the speed limit would always pull over to let cars pass.  It happened less frequently in Georgia, but still enough to keep my hope alive that people do care about others around them.  Now?  I can’t remember ever having this happen unless you count the occasional farmer that pulls his massive equipment off of the road to let cars pass.  No one cares who they slow down and everyone seems to get incredibly offended if you dare try to pass them.

On the flipside, yesterday it was my husband and I that were too slow.  In the morning, we were politely passed by a car that felt we weren’t accelerating quickly enough after passing through a four way stop.  In the afternoon, we were passed by a thoughtless dickhole that was seemingly offended by our decision to go the speed limit on a country road.  The car passed us and quickly cut back in front of our car.  This bugs me to no end.  I can almost excuse it if the person you’re passing is driving like a moron and you want to silently tell them to get it together.  But the car that passed us had no valid reason to be annoyed and no urgency to get back over, as there were no other cars coming.  The guy/girl just wanted to be an ass.  Whoever you are, I hope you end up in a ditch.

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When I arrived at work this morning, I had to change parking spaces because of the moronic way people choose to park in our giant lot.  I then had to weave through security while three middle-aged women with backpacks on wheels decided that they were handicapped in some way, skipped the line, and went through the handicap accessible entrance.  This bugs me just as much as when people steal handicap parking spaces.  The handicap doors and line is not for lazy, entitled people.  It’s for the guy in my building with no arms, the lady with one leg, the people in wheelchairs, and those on crutches.  If the blind guy that works here can go through the regular line, you suitcase toting folk can do so as well.  Fat and/or tired is not a handicap.

The whole abuse of the handicap line definitely bothers me more than it has any right to, but I don’t think it’s okay for people to skip the regular line and breeze through the automatic doors simply because they think that the extra 20lbs on their body gives them the right to do so.  There have been times when the security guard checking badges will tell these people to use the regular line, but for the most part he doesn’t have the time or the patience to do so, so the lazy crowd takes full advantage.  What gets me is the feeling of entitlement that these people have.  Newsflash:  you aren’t entitled to special treatment.  You’re not special.  I’m not special.  Quit acting as if the world owes you something.

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I swear, if not for Twitter and being able to vent here, I would go postal and snap at people in public.  I’m exhausted with the incredibly rude acts I see on a daily basis.  People don’t care anymore about anything that isn’t in their tiny little circle.  I’m not saying I should be important to whoever I happen to be around, but I would appreciate being treated like a human being and not as if I’m a gnat that won’t quit buzzing around their head.  I’d love for people not to block the entry way to the restroom and then act as if I’M the problem for trying to navigate to a stall without having to hug the gross wall as I pass by.  I’d love for my cashier to say “hello” and make eye contact instead of ignoring me completely as they continue a conversation with a fellow coworker about things no one needs to hear said out loud.

I’ve noticed that people seem to think that you either have to kiss everyone’s ass or you have to only look out for yourself.  They see no middle ground.  Unfortunately, that middle ground is where it’s at.  You CAN look out for your best interests and still manage not to be an intolerable asshat to everyone around you.  You CAN take care of yourself and your family without ticking off everyone around you.  Being a dickhole takes the same amount of effort as slapping a smile on your face and holding open a door for the person behind you.  Make an effort.  My sanity depends on it.

 

Karma

For almost three years now, I have been working about twenty feet away from who I consider to be the most vile person I have ever encountered in my 32 years on this planet.  Not-Paula Deen, AKA Tubberpottimus, AKA Tubbs is my middle-aged coworker who has been in a government job for nearly 38 years and is still a GS7.  Most people with those years have reached GS13 at least, but she would rather be lazy than better herself by advancing and furthering her education.  She is the worst gossip I have ever met or seen on one of those terrible television shows; she finds joy in the misery of others and is not above making something up when she can’t find dirt on a person she dislikes.  She is lazy, loves to eat and complain, whines about not having enough time for her job after spending hours online shopping and gossiping, and is very mean spirited.

Tubberpottimus has tried on multiple occasions to get me fired.  She went as far as to yell at me across the office one day (conveniently when both her supervisor and our branch chief were not present).  She has lied to me, tried to sabotage me, and claimed that work I did was her own doing.  She eats like she has been raised in a barn and pops and cracks her gum loudly, insisting that anyone annoyed by the noise is simply jealous.  She berates her own husband with her friends, treats him like a servant when he comes into the office, and often eats his lunch before he has a chance to retrieve it from our office’s fridge.  She is the worst.

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A few weeks ago, I heard the fantastic news that Tubbs would finally be retiring!  I nearly did a backflip; I enjoy my sometimes boring job and love the blissful days when not-Paula Deen is out sick or on vacation.  The thought of her never returning, leaving me free to work in peace, is heavenly.  Every day that passes gets me closer to seeing her walk out the door for the final time.  She gets lazier and louder with every passing work day, but I try to stay focused on the fact that it’s one more day down in what is becoming a short road to retirement.  But just when I begin to feel that she’s out of my hair, I get tasked with planning her retirement party.

Really?  Of all the people in this office, the person who she can’t stand (and who can’t stand her right back) is told to make the plans and get things moving?  The person who got called into the chief’s office to defend herself against Tubberpottimus’s accusations has to now make Tubbs’s last day a great one?  Why not ask one of her friends in the office; she talks behind their backs too but they seem to at least enjoy her company from time to time.  I want to see her fall off a cliff; clearly I am not the one to plan a damn party for her.  I’m not the one to buy her gifts.  I’m not the one who should be trusted to make her day special.  Do you know how hard it is for me not to be a smart ass and purchase cases of Slim Fast for her party?  Or fill her cube with Cheetos?  I am not right for this!

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Sigh.  Is it karma’s fault that this was placed in my hands, or am I possibly being tested?  Whatever the case may be, I am (reluctantly) taking this seriously and doing what I can.  I have put out word in our building’s newsletter that we will be holding an open house so her family, coworkers, and others in the building can wish her farewell.  I am organizing a pitch-in lunch for the same day.  I’ve coordinated with coworkers to have balloons brought in for her open house and to assist me with decorating.  I am making signs to direct everyone to her open house.  I have started collecting money for gifts and so far I have purchased a monogrammed retirement afghan, a personalized retirement plaque, various decorations for her desk, supplies to make a large signature mat to be framed for everyone to write their farewell wishes, and various beachy gifts to get her prepared for her trip to Florida soon after retirement.

I want to be doing absolutely none of this, but I’m putting the best I have into it because I don’t know another way to do things.  Part of me is going into this as if I’m planning a party for the rest of us.  Rather than thinking of this as a farewell party for Tubbs, I’m claiming it as a HELL YES, SHE’S OUT OF OUR LIVES party for myself and other people who don’t care for her.  It helps a bit, but it’s still a struggle for me to be putting so much time and effort into someone who treats me like shit and who already whined to people to get me to reschedule the open house and pitch-in because she decided she wanted her husband (also retiring) to come to it (he works in the building, so he’s always here).  I fully expect her to whine about the gifts, whine about the pitch-in, and whine about anything else I do just because that’s what she does.  I’m so annoyed.

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All I can hope is that everyone else sees that I’m putting a hell of a lot of effort into this, that I did my best, and that any complaint she may have is being raised out of spite and pure hatefulness.  This stupid retirement party is the last step along what has been a difficult road.  I’m glad to be closing this bloated chapter in my life and getting rid of Tubbs for good.  Less than a month to go before the thorn in my side is gone for good.  Not a moment too soon….

Who Am I Living With?!?

I read an article today about nightmare roommates.  The article highlighted stories such as a roomie who refused to clean and another who was a bit of an identity thief.  Though the stories will vary greatly, nearly everyone out there has a story to tell about a nightmare that they once called their roommate.  It inspired me to share a few of my own horror stories.  Please chime in with your own stories of woe in the comment section!

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CANCER IN COLLEGE:  I was pretty excited about having my first roommate during my freshman year of college.  Her name was Ashley and she seemed like a cool enough person when we were exchanging emails and deciding who would bring what when it came to appliances and entertainment.  Our first week went smoothly, but our second week had a bit of a hiccup during a movie night in our room with a few other girls from the dorm; instead of watching the movie, Ashley was face first in the crotch of a guy she had met just an hour before.  She began acting more and more promiscuous while dropping her showers from daily to once a week.  She began collecting her dirty laundry under her bed rather than in her drawers, doing sniff tests to find things to wear.  Finally she broke the news to myself and the other girls in the dorm that she had cancer.  A month passes and she informs us that a new laser surgery rid her of the cancer.  Two weeks later we learn via voicemail from her mother that her “cancer” was actually a single kidney stone that she had broken up by a doctor and was able to pass without incident.  She was so ashamed of her lie that she left the dorm and gave me a private room for the second half of the year.

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JEALOUSY IS A KILLER:  My first apartment cost me $325 a month for my half of the rent, plus about $30 in utilities, for a decent sized two bedroom in a quiet area.  I moved in with my best friend from work, Travis; a 450+ pound guy who was as sweet as a teddy bear.  Once we were settled in, he proposed an odd rule that my boyfriend could only visit once a week and never to sleep over.  I soon discovered that he was an alcoholic; I came home one night to find he had finished off my big unopened bottle of whiskey and nearly demolished a 24 pack of beer.  I had to call in reinforcements to get him off of the living room floor where he lay weeping and into his bed.  Sometimes I would catch him watching me from the couch through the small crack in my doorway.  One day when we were both working, a tow truck came to collect his car due to some legal matter (possibly related to all the beer cans in the trunk) and the next day, I came home from school to find that he had moved out.  He called the electric company and water company to have them both shut off, leaving me with mere minutes to contact them both to get them reconnected.  He took every single item, big and small, in that place that he considered his.  He even took the $5 trash can, leaving a full open bag of trash in the middle of the kitchen floor.  I haven’t spoken to Travis since.

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DRUGS ARE BAD:  At one low point in my life, I was renting a room in a boarding house with about ten other people.  This is more of a close neighbor story than actual roommates, but it counts.  I had my own bathroom, so I could easily isolate myself from the rest of the house.  Across the hall from me was a married couple who had just moved here from out of state; a chubby girl named Monica and her goggle-eyed husband, along with their newborn baby girl.  They seemed normal at first, until the husband began flirting with me anytime his wife was away at work (I had gotten her a job with me at IHOP but we didn’t always share shifts).  I was able to ignore him except for one day when he forced himself in my room, knocked me on the bed, and tried to assault me.  Unfortunately for him, I outweighed and out-muscled him and easily sent him running for his mommy.  Outside of him, there was a crackhead that lived down the hall.  I didn’t know she was a crackhead until returning from work one day with Monica.  She accused us both of “checking out” her skinny, filthy boyfriend and went crazy.  I have a small scar on my left arm from where she attacked me.  Monica and I locked ourselves in my room and called the police; she was soon hogtied and thrown in the back of their car after twice running away from the officers who showed up to assist.  Oh, and there was also a guy who died in his room and was there for a week before anyone noticed.

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LOOKIE HERE:  While between places, I had to crash on the floor of my friend’s place for a bit.  He was a scrawny, nerdy, nice guy who I met with friends at a liquor store and later saw for games of pool, dinner and drinks on multiple occasions.  He was almost twice my age but very approachable and friendly.  My boyfriend had the idea of me staying with him for a bit to save money and I agreed because my other option was living in my car.  The first week went smoothly; I was able to put back cash from my paycheck and received a surprising amount of privacy for someone on an air mattress in the middle of the living room.  Little did I know the guy was somewhat of an exhibitionist, setting up various ways for me to literally catch him with his pants around his ankles.  The first time, I chalked up to an accident.  Time #2 made me suspicious and I began searching for a new place.  Time #3 he just came out of the shower butt naked and entered the living room where he knew I was sitting.  I ran to the end of the driveway to wait for my ride so I could get the hell out of that place.

Day 30

What about you?  Big or small, share your stories.  It can be personal or something that a friend or family member has experienced.  And… GO!

Eat This And Pop That

We live about a mile from my husband’s mother and another mile away from the center of the city where the majority of the grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants are located.  It makes it convenient to both visit with family and to run our errands and grab a bite to eat.  Earlier in the week, my mom-in-law invited us out to the newly remodeled Chicago’s Pizza for dinner.  I should say rebuilt, as they knocked down the entire building and started from scratch.  Chicago’s has been a favorite of my husband’s, so I was pretty excited to try them out and have a bit of family time.

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We arrived just as the buffet was in the middle of the set-up, so a few items such as spaghetti had yet to make it to the line.  I made a plate for my boy first so he could get started, as he is the world’s slowest eater when he’s in an environment where even the smallest distraction exists.  After setting him up and ensuring he was settled in with my mom-in-law, I returned to the buffet line in search of my own dinner.  While grabbing some pizza sauce and cheese sauce for my breadsticks, I was blocked from the sticks themselves by a large pair of women who were excited about the spaghetti that had just been set out next to the sticks.  Since there was not an inch of room to spare around these two women, I patiently waited for them to pile their plates high.

As the pair added cheese and extra sauce to their pasta, they continued their animated discussion on some new pills that they purchased last week.  Both were excited to “finally try them out,” raving about how incredible their results would be.  The talk continued as they moved along and I was able to grab the last of my meal.  It turned out that the pills in question were some “miracle” diet pills they had purchased at Wal-Mart.  The two were convinced that these pills meant that they could eat whatever they wanted to, so long as they took two pills with a glass of water with their insanely large meal.  That night was the night they were beginning their “diet” and they chose a pizza buffet to kick off their weight loss.

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I’m no stranger to the difficulties of maintaining a healthy weight and staying out of double-digit pant sizes.  I was up to a frightening 170 pounds at one point and had to work hard to get that weight off.  It’s still something I have to keep an eye on and even now, I’m working to drop about ten annoying pounds.  I have gone down the diet pill road many times myself.  Right now, I take green tea supplements and various vitamins to boost my metabolism.  I also know damn well that pills, vitamins, and other similar substances that promise weight loss aren’t going to do jack unless I eat properly and ensure that I work some sort of physical activity into my day, every day.

Sensa, a weight loss product that has the user sprinkle the drug on their food before consumption, is one of many products that gives consumers the hope of a miracle cure.  They even allow you to try it for free if you go to their website and give them some information.  Their website also states the following:

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This is what people such as the women at the buffet focus on; no counting calories and no dieting.  Eat what you want, use our product, and lose weight.  It gives the impression that the drug is what does all the work while the user can continue to indulge and lounge around.  In Sensa’s defense, their site does state that their product should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise plan.  This recommendation is included with just about every weight loss product out there and is also the most ignored bit of information; it’s either skimmed over or missed entirely as the consumer eagerly jumps into their new, quick and easy weight loss plan.

Obesity is a serious problem in our country.  People are getting bigger and instead of striving to get healthy, they demand that the world around them work harder and do more to accommodate their expanding waistlines and enormous bulk.  People who simply eat too much are claiming that they have a disease, an illness that causes their obesity, which is an insult to those who truly do have ailments that cause excessive weight gain.  In the building where I work, obese people consider themselves handicapped and will use the handicap line, beg for handicap parking, and use scooters to get around the building rather than take a walk.  Heaven forbid anyone say something negative about an obese person; we will no longer stand for this type of bullying.  We have to accept and love the body we are in and respect the choices of others, not bring them down and make them feel poorly about their weight.  Right?

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When you take the mentality the general public has about obesity, plus the mentality the obese have about themselves, and throw in some pills that can fix it all in a snap, it’s no surprise that the women at the buffet were expecting a miracle.  Our always advancing world has made us all a bit lazier than we used to be, and that laziness extends into our health and our maintenance of our bodies.  When you present the average person with a choice between going to the gym three times a week or taking a supplement twice a day, chances are the supplement will win out almost every time.  Why else would anyone choose to take Alli, the amazing weight loss pill that can also make you crap yourself:

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It’s sad that people continue to fall for the shiny outer covering of these so-called miracle diet pills and supplements, especially considering how much money these companies are making off of gullible people who are fond of the easy routes in life.  It’s a bit disturbing to think that the women I overheard at the buffet are just two in a sea of many who are currently out there, chowing down and expecting a pill or a powder to do all of the work for them.  It’s pretty pathetic that we have come to the point where we are too lazy to get up and do something, even if it’s as small as taking a 15 minute walk or choosing the stairs over the elevator.  It’s even worse that we can’t stop pigging out for a week or two, choosing instead to ingest mystery drugs to shed unwanted fat.

We are in control of our bodies, and with that control comes responsibility.  That means not relying on other people to fix problems that we can and should fix ourselves.  We should want to ensure we are consuming the proper nutrients to get our metabolism moving rather than popping a Stacker II because of the promises it makes.  We should incorporate physical activity into our daily lives because it’s good for us, not dismiss it in favor of whatever pill the Kardashians are promoting these days.  If these pills worked in the way they portray themselves to, we’d all be skinny little things.  Have some sense, and not some Sensa.

Here We Go Again

Today marks the third week in a row of my new commitment to both calorie counting and adding some kind of physical activity to my day.  I have been limited my intake to no more than 1300 per day, ensuring that days I go over are followed by days I go under.  I will allow myself one cheat day per month to go out of control because calorie restrictions unfortunately do mean food restrictions as well (bye bye for now, nachos).  I hate the gym and I’m not a runner, so my physical activity has consisted of doing laps with my iPod around the 1.6 million square foot building where I work five days a week.  Inside of course; I’m not quite brave or crazy enough to go out in the frigid Indiana air.  In these three little weeks, I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost, but my clothes fit better, my hourglass figure is making a mean comeback, and my husband has taken notice on my improvements.

The last time I had to change my diet and drop some pounds was a nightmarish time when I was squeezing into a size 11 and being ashamed of myself.  Right now, I am hovering around a size 7 and nowhere near where I was before, so it’s not quite the annoyance it was back then.  My goal this time is to get back to the size I was when my husband and I got married.  I’m basing it on how I look and how my clothes fit, nothing else.  I don’t care how much I weigh now or how much I weigh when I’m done.  I’m always going to be “heavy” due to the pounds of muscle I carry, so the number is going to be higher than you’d expect as long as I stay healthy and don’t lose that muscle.  I’m making progress and happy with the results.  But damn if it isn’t hard.

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I’ve always been a big believer that diets are not the way to go.  Diet equals restriction which equals frustration and eventually failure.  Tell someone they cannot have any pizza and they are going to want pizza. With calorie counting, I can have pizza and all the other foods I desire, just not in the quantities I may prefer.  The plus side is that my stomach quickly became used to smaller quantities and doesn’t allow me to overeat, making calorie counting much easier.  The downside is that I want to eat cakes and pies and pizzas and tacos and everything else I can get my hands on.  There has been free cake, bagels, donuts, and all sorts of junk food in my office that I want to dive into headfirst and devour until I can’t move.  It’s torture.

My saving grace in the office has come in two forms.  The first is sometimes tiring but very therapeutic; long walks around the square-shaped building, including hikes up and down the ramps.  With my iPod on shuffle and helping me drown out all the noise around me, I get a break from the day while breaking a bit of a sweat.  It also allows me to get away from whatever temptation is being put in front of me, reducing the chances of me cracking under pressure and grabbing some junk food.  The second is a little mean but it works.  All I have to do is get a good look at one of the very out of shape people in this building and the desire to eat junk food vanishes.  The fact that the woman who sits behind me has a habit of ordering multiple lunches per day and having Doritos for breakfast ends up being a powerful motivator for me to eat less and eat healthy.

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This is not the most difficult time I’ve had with a plan to drop a few pounds, nor is it the most extreme thing I’ve done, but for some reason it’s been annoying me more than all the other diets, exercise plans, food restrictions, and various other paths I’ve ventured down.  If not for the fact that I’m seeing results, I think I would have quit.  I imagine that is why many people throw in the towel early on.  But my goal is in mind and it’s a goal that isn’t a year or more down the road, but mere months away.  Milestone One will be March 11th when the husband and I go to WWE Raw, as I want to look good in the shirt I altered for the event.  Milestone Two will be my birthday, where I hope to be at the point where nothing in my closet is off-limits, but the real goal is Milestone Three when I will go bikini shopping.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the right time of year or not; whenever I’m at the point where I get excited to go try on bikinis, I’ll know I’ve reached my ultimate goal.

Struggling with weight is one of the most frustrating and annoying struggles that the average person has to deal with.  It’s also one of the most easy fixes out there.  Unless you’re one of the very few who have a medical condition that causes extreme weight gain or prevents weight loss, it’s simply a matter of burning more than you consume.  Doing that isn’t the impossible feat that many make it out to be.  Yes, it’s frustrating being surrounded by donuts and having to take a pass, but it’s worth it when you can look at yourself in the mirror after a shower without cringing in disgust.  Have some self-control and self-respect, choose reasonable goals, and stick to a plan that works for you.  Easy.

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There are always going to be people out there who tell you you’re doing it wrong.  Eat more carbs and less dairy.  Eat no carbs and drink green tea.  Drink only black coffee and eat lots of carrots.  Plan X worked for me; you should try it.  Workout video Y is amazing; want to borrow it?  Receive their advice with a smile and get right back to your own plan.  If something works for you and is giving you results, be them big or small, it’s in your best interest to shrug off the unwanted advice.  But don’t be afraid to talk about what you’re doing just because you want to avoid advice.  Speaking up doesn’t just keep people informed, it can connect you with others who are also trying to get in shape or lose their Christmas weight.

At the end of the day, it’s about you and only you.  What you want for yourself.  Where you see yourself in the future.  How happy you want to be with who you are.  How comfortable you wish to be in your own skin.  With weight loss or with any type of self-improvement, you have to be doing it for you and no one else.  If my husband had been the one to encourage this weight loss, I wouldn’t be as motivated as I currently am.  I’m the one in this body and I have to do it for me.  I have to know that I can succeed and I have to be willing to make sacrifices to get there.  And most important for me, I have to find ways to cope when it feels like it’s too hard.  Like writing this entry, for example, as it kept me from searching for candy.  Thanks for listening.

OM NOM NOM COOKIES

Fat is not a disease.  Dr Pattie Thomas states that “there is no evidence that fatness, in and of itself,  is a disease, a disorder or a symptom.”  Dr Pieter Cohen, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance says “if we call obesity a disease, it would mean automatically, a third of Americans are in a diseased state or sick.”  The Center of Consumer Freedom Executive Director, Richard Berman, states that “obesity is not a ‘disease’ if it can be cured by taking regular walks and eating less.  We need to be careful not to dumb down the definition of the term disease at the expense of taxpayers.”  Paul Handel, MD, and vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas says that “if we consider obesity a disease, it implies that individuals have no control over what’s happening, and as a nation and as a culture, we need to commit more of our resources to treating the complications of the weight and obesity problem rather than saying it’s a preventable event that really demands a societal response.”  The list of examples goes on and on.

This morning, I was listening to my coworker describe her rough morning of trying to enter through the handicap entrance to use the shorter line meant for people with physical disabilities, only to find that the door was not working and she was forced to physically open the door herself.  This same woman scored a temporary handicap tag at this building for her knee; thankfully it expired after 4 months because the space needed to be open for people with real disabilities, not for people who have knee problems solely because they refuse to lose weight.  She is one person among many in the building I work in, and in this world, who think being obese means they have a disease and a handicap which entitles them to special treatment.

I fully acknowledge that medical conditions exist that cause a person to gain weight and enter the category of obesity; I am not talking about those people and I sympathize with their struggle.  The problem stems from lazy people who don’t care about their bodies.  They gain weight, gain some more, and then want to say it’s a disease and want better health care, better accommodations in public, and all the rights and special treatments that are afforded to those with actual disabilities.  I find it insulting that a person who can’t resist McDonald’s thinks they are just as disabled as a paraplegic or amputee.  Diet and exercise can fix fat, it can’t cure paralysis.

I will agree that there is an obesity epidemic in this nation, but it’s hardly a disease, as it’s easy to avoid with knowledge, self-awareness and self-control.  Although late to the party, Cheesecake Factory has finally gotten on board and posted their nutrition facts for their rich and delicious dishes.  With the exception of small specialty eateries that are sprinkled here and there, restaurants (sit down and fast food) are very up front with the calorie counts of their dishes, with some like Panera going as far as posting it directly on their large menu board behind the cash registers.  With the basic understanding that the average person requires 2000 calories per day, it is clear that consuming more will result in weight gain and consuming less will result in weight loss.  You can’t cure cancer this way, yet we are meant to consider obesity as much of a disease as cancer is?

When the argument is made that obesity is not a disease because it is preventable, it obviously doesn’t mean that it is comparable to something serious like HIV, where prevention can mean safe sex and no drug use.  The action of unsafe sex leads to contracting a disease, while the action of eating pizza does not lead to obesity.  The effect comes from excess; eating two slices and eating an entire pie are very different.  It is a gamble to have unprotected sex with an HIV positive person, but there is no gamble in attending a neighborhood cookout, as people do it all the time and aren’t breaking any scales.  Food doesn’t equal fat, it is the actions of the individual that result in fat.

This is not about our culture’s definition of beauty and the fact that skinny is what society accepts as a thing of beauty, not cellulite and rolls.  It’s not about trying to look like the airbrushed people on magazine covers.  This is about the simple fact that being obese is not healthy and that obesity results from a lifestyle choice, not from a disease that is contracted, inherited, or developed.  This is about the fact that this country would rather be coddled to and have their surroundings expand along with their waistline rather than get out of their recliner and take steps to become healthy.  This is about people looking for an easy fix, a pill to pop or a surgery to request, and the desire to have those things covered by their insurance company due to their “disease.”

Obesity is a mess the individual gets themselves into.  When I gained weight after starting work in this building, due to the lack of activity that comes with a desk job and my own lack of care, it was because I got lazy and not because I contracted the fat disease.  I controlled my intake and lost weight.  When I get careless, I gain weight.  Had I given up, I’d be a tub of lard right now and it would be entirely my fault.  To blame a fictional disease is to take the responsibility off of myself and to make myself look like a victim.  This attitude is one of the many reasons there are so many overweight people in this world; we want to eat and enjoy a leisurely life without taking responsibility for our actions and accepting that we are in control of our physical well being.

The woman I previously mentioned (who has also mentioned getting a scooter so she doesn’t have to walk the hallways) is one of many people I see on a daily basis treating their XXL shirt size as an honest handicap and disease.  They use the diabetes and heart conditions they develop as proof that obesity is a disease that brings on other diseases.  They wish to be coddled in the same way a truly sick person is coddled, and it needs to stop.  There are people out there who have honest and real medical problems that do cause obesity; to say that obesity itself is a disease is doing a disservice to these people who need more help than a reduced diet and a walk around the block.

Even if, for argument’s sake, we say that obesity is truly a disease, it’s still one that is completely preventable and avoidable, curable without medical intervention, and easy to control.  If you’re having a Whopper with fries, grab a diet coke instead of a 300 calorie regular soda and make sure your next meal is a salad with lite dressing and minimal toppings.  Get off your ass and walk around a bit, be it around your office or a stroll through your neighborhood.  No one is wasting time on the guy who smoked three packs a day and now has throat cancer, trying to say his choice to smoke was due to a disease.  Why should anyone feel bad for the guy who ate himself into a 48 inch waistline?

Tubberpottimus Strikes Again

I love Jimmy Johns.  Their subs are amazingly tasty, they are super speedy in preparation and delivery, and their employees are always friendly and pleasant.  My husband and I have one about 15 minutes from our home and one right down the street from the building where we work.  I love their online ordering system, which allows me to check nutritional information and perfectly customize my sub to my specifications.  Always extra avocado spread.  You can set your delivery to come now or at a future time for either delivery or pick-up.  It also allows you to name your sub whatever you want, which is just fun.

On Tuesday afternoon, as I wrapped up my lunch, my tubby coworker hopped on the phone to call in an order to Jimmy Johns.  If you’re familiar with me, she’s the one that I routinely comment on, due to the fact that she is a socially inept gossip with a mean streak and a huge appetite.  Tubbs phoned in her order and ten minutes later, went out front to retrieve it.  As I walked over to the copier to scan a few documents in, I noticed she was chowing down on two subs.  Normal for her, but it still struck me as a bit odd.

As Tubbs wrapped up her super sized lunch, my husband dropped into my office so we could walk down to the ID card office together and then hit the store for some freshly popped popcorn.  When I returned, I settled back at my desk ready for a peaceful popcorn break.  Sadly, the peaceful part was out of the question because Tubbs was on the phone and she was livid.  It turned out, she was on the phone with Jimmy Johns, claiming her order never came and she had been waiting for over an hour for her and her husband’s lunches.

After Tubbs concluded her verbal assault, including accusations of the driver showing up but not bothering to call her, no one taking down her order, and laziness, she slammed the phone down in the cradle and triumphantly stated “Well, my food should be here in five!”  Like clockwork, her phone beeped five minutes later and she walked out to retrieve her food.  According to her, the delivery driver called her a liar, stating that he was in fact there prior and did call.  She claims she put him in his place and she received her food for free after he threw away the receipt, thus destroying all evidence.  Tubbs then gets back on the phone.  She dials Jimmy Johns and tells them that she was called a liar by their employee.  She then phones her husband who comes down to retrieve his meal.  All things taken care of, she digs into her second lunch.

I wish I was making this up, and I wish I could still be somewhat surprised by her behavior, but two years of this woman has numbed me a bit.  After some thought, I retreated to a quiet corner of the building and called Jimmy Johns to defend the driver since I saw the first delivery and could confirm the person’s name and number who placed the order.  It may have been a waste of time, but it may have also saved someone from getting in trouble over someone’s lies in their awful attempt to get a free meal.  I would hate to think that someone would be fired because their manager thinks they called a customer a liar and gave away food for free after botching the original delivery an hour prior.

I find it disgusting when people take advantage of companies with excellent customer service in order to get freebies, discounts, or other special offers.  People who eat their entire meal, then complain of the taste of temperature when there is only a bite remaining on their plate.  People who rub their own makeup or deodorant on clothing in stores to try to get a discount on “damaged goods.”  People who claim a polite employee talked down to them in order to be spiteful and get a deal from a manager.  It’s horrible, it hurts employees and businesses, and it’s an underhanded thing to do.

Jimmy Johns didn’t lose much money due to Tubby’s behavior and the delivery guy likely wasn’t reprimanded, but that doesn’t make it any less wrong.  If there is a legitimate problem with services received or with customer service, by all means complain!  You just don’t get to create your own problems where none exist.  Your behavior tarnishes great companies and gets innocent employees in trouble for imagined mistakes.  That aside, it’s just plain wrong.  Sure, she got a couple free subs for her second lunch break, but she also revealed herself as even more of a horrible human being with her actions, and that kind of behavior always comes back to bite you in the ass.

Teeny Tiny Sodas

I’m sure by now, most of you have heard about New York’s new ban on soda sizes above 16 ounces in an effort to help with America’s growing obesity problem.  The ban will apply in fast food restaurants, movie theaters, Broadway theaters, sports stadiums, delis, cafeterias at work, and most other places selling prepared food.  It will not cover beverages sold in supermarkets and most convenience stores.  The rule would not apply to lower or zero calorie beverages, such as water or diet soda, or to alcoholic beverages or drinks that are more than half milk or at least 70% juice.

I may be in the minority, but I am a huge fan of this.  Throughout the years, I’ve seen fast food cups morph in size; the drink that was a large years ago is now a small or medium in most establishments, with grossly large cups taking the large and super sizes spots.  When I lived in Connecticut, I gained about fifteen pounds in a short amount of time by drinking regular sodas rather than a low or zero calorie substitute.  I’ve watched children (whose parents I was acquainted with) become overweight at early ages because mom and dad didn’t mind if they had a Coke or Mt Dew with their meals and snacks.  We are a fat and sloppy country and I appreciate efforts such as this one to try to assist our citizens.

The majority of businesses that will be affected by the ban are establishments that offer free refills, either by self-serve or by asking a cashier.  This ban is not saying “You are NOT allowed to consume more than 16 ounces of regular Dr. Pepper with this meal!”  It’s simply making it more difficult for you to access those empty calories and damage your health.  When eating fast food, you’re packing on the calories as it is with a burger (300 to 600 calories on average, although it can often push 1000) and fries (anywhere from 250 to 600 on average) or onion rings (400 on average), plus any dipping sauces you choose to use with your side (15 calories per tablespoon of ketchup, but zesty onion ring sauce nets you 150 calories per serving).  It makes sense to try to cut out the empty calories by attempting to get consumers to take it easy on the soda.  In no way is the ban stopping you from getting refill after refill; the trips to the counter will burn some of those unnecessary calories anyway.

At the movie theater, if you are like me and never willing to step out until the movie wraps, perhaps this will push you to order a different beverage at the counter.  I prefer the 20 ounce Dasani bottled water at the AMC theater to accompany my popcorn.  If I’m in the mood for a soda, I’ll spring for a diet, but both my husband and I are always sure to avoid the regular sugary sodas.  A small buttered popcorn at Regal Movie Theater will net you 670 calories (unbuttered is 485) while a large at AMC with a reasonable amount of butter puts you just over 1000.  If you must have a regular Coke, it makes sense to give you a smaller size, limiting the amount of calories you pack on while sitting immobile for two to three hours.  I’m also not above bringing in my own drink if I must; a Vitamin Water Zero is a nice way to cut through all that popcorn butter and salt without giving me thunder thighs.

Restaurants have slowly begun to put calorie counts in clear areas on their in-store menus or on display elsewhere on site rather than just on their website or in a forgotten pamphlet in the corner.  They are not tweaking their items (for the most part, although some have tried cutting down on the size of items) but simply making sure the consumer is aware of what they are about to eat.  It makes the intelligent consumer see that if they have the 1/3rd pound Hardee’s burger with fries, they are consuming half of the calories they are meant to eat per day.  They may be pushed to substitute a salad for the fries, skip the mayo on the burger (one tablespoon nets you 90 calories, lite mayo nets about 35) or make sure to eat very lightly for the rest of the day.  This soda size restriction is a bolder tool to educate consumers, but a tool nonetheless to reduce the amount of obese people and to show people how many calories they are sucking down blindly with their already calorie laden meals.  It puts up a tiny barrier between the consumer and an increase in pant size, but it’s not a barrier they cannot easily step over.

If you are a stubborn person who absolutely has to have 36 ounces of Mt Dew in front of you as you tear into your meal, then order two drinks.  If you are going to ignore all the health risks involved in overeating and consuming more calories than your body is built to handle, why not have it hurt your wallet?  Health care costs are up, in part, because of the expanding number of obese people in this country and the many health issues that come with carrying around pounds of fat your body is not built to carry.  We make smokers pay more for cigarettes that will most likely give them health problems in their future, so why not do the same with people who play Russian Roulette with their health?

I understand that I’m being extreme here, but underneath the surface, they are both the same exact thing.  If a person wishes to damage their health, after receiving the education to fully understand what kind of damage their doing, then they should definitely be inconvenienced in life and in their wallets.  How many frequent fliers have been annoyed by an obese seat mate and had their space encroached on for the entire flight?  How many people have had to deal with a rude smoker going through cigarette after cigarette at the table close by while trying to enjoy a meal?  Why is it wrong to be concerned with the rights of people living healthy rather than the “rights” of people treating their bodies like trash?

I do understand that there is a lot of upset because it feels as though the government is sticking their hands where they shouldn’t in controlling what we can drink.  But they are not controlling what we can drink.  Sodas aren’t all being switched over to diet.  Establishments aren’t getting rid of all regular sodas, Icees, and other non-diet options.  You can still go to the grocery store and get a case of regular Fanta and drink it all in one night if you wish.  All this ban is doing is making it more difficult for the general (and sometimes uneducated) public to blindly damage their health and bodies.  Is that so wrong?

Bloomberg spokeswoman, Samantha Levine, stated “we’ve heard these claims of pending apocalypse before when we proposed bold public health initiatives, and they have been proven false.  Critics predicted the end of tourism and that businesses would sink when we banned smoking in bars and restaurants, yet we’ve grown tourism to record levels and the restaurant and bar industry continues to grow.”  Some will hate the ban, some will frequent food joints less, some will just buy two drinks, and some will declare it all a failure.  Some businesses will see a slump, some will see an increase, and some will notice no change.  Life, as always, will take this ban and treat it as the small speed bump it is; we will learn to take a tiny bit of effort and just roll over it, finding that we’re just as good on the other side.

Rage Outlet Required

Every once in a while, I get to the point at work where I simply have had enough and get dangerously close to snapping and saying something that will likely cost me my job.  I work with a woman, and I use that term loosely because she acts more like a farm animal than a human, who drives me absolutely up the wall.  I’ve worked with annoying people before, including ones who have tried to get me fired, who don’t shower, who spit food while eating, and who act and look like they belong on Jerry Springer or the People Of Walmart website.  This woman tops them all and then some.

An article on Glassdoor suggest that I keep conversations short in order to keep her quiet.  I’ve done this and succeeded in offending her because she loves to gossip and know all the juicy details about people’s lives.  It also suggests I kill her with kindness, but unfortunately her jabs at me are done behind my back and I’m unable to “respond to every jab with saccharin sweetness” as they suggest.  Finally, they say to be direct and address the annoying activity in the best way possible.  I don’t see this working; months back someone had made a sign saying that gum popping and nail clipping were horrible office behaviors and left the sign on the printer.  When this woman saw it, she stated that this person was jealous of her gum cracking abilities and mocked them for weeks, cracking her gum with more frequency than before.

The site HowToDoThings features an article which asks if other people experience similar problems as I with my annoying coworker.  This is a definite YES, as I’ve heard stories from others and know it’s not a problem that solely rests with me.  They suggest communicating with the difficult person, which honestly I have not done because she’s set in her ways and has tried to get me in trouble multiple times; I fear that any word from me, no matter how polite, would result in a shitstorm.  They throw in treating others the way you’d like to be treated, something I do with all my coworkers.  Unfortunately, that isn’t always reciprocated.  Keeping it professional, another suggestion, is something I do as well with her that doesn’t accomplish squat.  They end on suggesting that the issue be brought to the boss.  Something she did about me that amounted to him being annoyed for being bothered with something so trivial.

I’ve found relief today from her nonsense by searching for sites giving suggestions on how to get revenge on a coworker.  No, I’m not about to start taking ideas off the site and putting them into action, but they are humorous to go through and it makes me feel better to imagine pulling some of these off.  Thinkgeek has this Annoy-a-Tron that I have considered buying at least 30 times since beginning my job here.  You hide this little device and it makes three annoying noises for a month straight.  Also, at the time of this posting, they are buy one get one free.  She isn’t too bright so I imagine one of these would screw with her tiny brain immensely!  I’ve also toyed with the idea of switching keys around on her keyboard, taping over the laser on her mouse, or doing that prank to make a screenshot of their icons into their wallpaper and have them clicking around into nothingness trying to get their system to work.

There are also the hateful revenge pranks, most include a disclaimer about it possibly getting you fired or arrested.  Putting a coworker’s number on Craigslist under an “Anything Goes” ad or something equally as awful would definitely be hilarious; I’d love to hear her taking calls all day from Craigslist weirdos.  There is the option of subscribing to free magazines or requesting free samples of the questionable nature; crossdressing, male enhancement, or adult diapers.  Surprisingly, there are a lot of sites advising people to break into the email of their annoying coworker and send out emails that will result in them getting fired.  I’ll admit, I would die laughing if I saw her confronted over an email she allegedly sent to the entire office with naked photos of her favorite celebrities contained inside.

The thing is, for me to seek revenge in any way for her behavior would be for me to become a mini version of her.  I don’t enjoy hearing her make up nonsense about my life and try to come up with some juicy gossip to attach my name to, I don’t like coming to work and hearing her pop gum all day, and I am probably more excited about her retirement than she is.  Not a day goes by when I don’t want to throw my stapler at her face.  But I don’t, and I don’t do so for the same reasons I don’t screw with her computer while she’s away at lunch or sign her email up to random porn sites.  She may not know how to properly behave in public, but I do and the best revenge I can get on this fat cow is to act respectably and block her out as best as I can.

Outside of work?  Well, that’s a whole other story….

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