Sorry for the Silence

Sorry for the silence, but I’ve been very busy.  I know, I know, excuses, excuses.  My job leaves me with little time to write and leaves me too tired to think of things to write, but I’m hoping that in the next month to month and a half that will change.  In the meantime, I will try to post more often, if not every day, then maybe once a week.

ETA:  I will try to post something at least once a week, depending on my work schedule.

The Fallacy That “Skinny” People Don’t Need to Lose Weight

This is a post that I made last spring to a blog I have on Sparkpeople.com.  See, I am about 20 pounds overweight, but by looking at me, you probably couldn’t tell I am.  I struggle with learning to eat properly and making time for exercise between trying to start up a writing career, going to school, knitting, my full time job, and taking care of my house.  I get on the wagon, fall off the wagon, get mad at myself, and then climb right back on it.  I am trying to learn how to stay on the wagon once and for all.

This post was in response to a message board topic by someone who thought that “skinny” people don’t belong on a website like Sparkpeople.com because they don’t need to lose weight.

Replying to a message board post brought me back to my blog to write this.

I have heard on this site, and elsewhere, people remark how they don’t understand how “skinny people” need to be on Sparkpeople to lose weight and some probably even resent that someone who may only have ten pounds to lose is even here at all.

It’s all about perception. And judgments about our motivations and our sincerity.

I am one of those so called “skinny” people.

When I signed up on this site, I was 20 pounds overweight and out of shape. My clothes were just a bit too snug on me. I was not eating what I should be eating. My tummy was flabby. My backside was flat and jiggly. My thighs were like Jell-O. But if you looked at me, you probably could not see that. Looking at me, you probably would wonder where that extra 20 pounds was. At 5’6″, I carry that 20 pounds differently than someone who is only 5′ tall.

You don’t see what I see in the mirror. When I wear certain things, I can hide that extra 20 pounds from the world and nobody needs to know that my thighs rub together when I walk.

I came here because I wanted to live a healthy life. I came here to learn how to eat properly and how to pick myself up when I fall off the wagon. I came here to make the yo-yo stop once and for all. I came here to learn how to get into shape and not be so winded when I walk up a flight of stairs.

We as a society are conditioned to think that only dramatic weight loss is worthy weight loss. Having a 300 pound person lose 100 pounds on the Biggest Loser makes for better TV than a 165 pound person losing 20 pounds. Showing before and after pictures of someone losing 50 pounds probably sells more Jenny Craig memberships or Nutrisystem food deliveries or infomercial workout DVD’s than someone else losing only 15 pounds.

I am not vain because I want to lose weight. I am not shallow because I want to lose weight. I do not have a distorted view of my body because I want to lose weight. My desire to lose weight is not because of an eating disorder. I am no more shallow, vain, or anorexic than the overweight person is lazy, slothful, or has no self control.

I want to be healthy. I want my clothes to fit me better. I want to be in shape. I want to have energy and not be tired all the time. I want to learn ways to eat healthy when I don’t have time to cook regular food.

Isn’t this why we’re all here?

A part of me resents the fact that I am judged by others as “not being fat enough” to lose weight or to be on a website like this. Exercising and eating healthier and understanding what you are putting into your body and what effect it has on you isn’t the exclusive right of those who only have 30 or more pounds to lose.

There was a time in my life where I didn’t have to worry about my weight. But at the age of 39, my metabolism isn’t what it used to be and now I have to work at keeping the extra pounds off of me.

We are all here for the same purpose. It should not matter if someone needs to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds.

Note:  I am a fan of the Biggest Loser and even with my smaller amount of weight to lose, I find inspriation from the people who are on it, too, and from Bob.  If someone who weighs 300 pounds can make that change in their lives, then what’s my excuse?

At the time I posted this at Spark People, I was almost down to the ten pound mark.  Since I fell off the wagon again, I gained only three back, but that’s not the point.  I fell off and slipped up.  Today, I decided to climb back on the wagon again.

Ten Things We Learn About Men From Romantic Comedies and The Actual Truth

I am probably a traitor to the female of the species because I do not like romantic comedies.

Let me rephrase that.  I do not like the “romantic comedies” that Hollywood churns out because I find them insulting to my intelligence.   I realize that this is “fantasy”, but a lot of people seem to think that this is how romance should be.

This article lists ten things we learn about men from romantic comedies. My husband is a lucky, lucky man because I have never dragged him to see a “rom com” (although the same can’t be said for me because of all the sci fi and action movies I’ve had to sit through).  So here is my take on this list.  This is not man bashing.  Personally, I think this type of movie is a bit insulting to the male of the species.

He’s just not that into you. A true pearl of wisdom. If he doesn’t like to talk on the phone, hang on your every word, and spend every minute of the rest of his life with you after the first minute you meet, he just doesn’t like you AT ALL. Glad we got that one out of the way.

If you need to buy a ticket for the clue bus to see that a guy doesn’t like you, then you are truly an idiot and you deserve to be old and alone and living with lots of cats.

If he’s rich, successful, and good-looking, he probably has a heart of gold. The nicest, most earnest, most loving guys come in the most wonderful packages. You should definitely judge a book by its cover!

If he’s rich, successful, and good looking, he is probably a conceited jerk more in love with himself than he ever will be with you.  He is probably a Type A personality who will treat you just as badly as he treats others around him.

When you are starting a relationship, the first f**k up doesn’t matter. Get caught with your ex? Embarrass him at work? Emasculate him? Say awful things to him in the heat of the moment? He’ll forgive you. It’s just the growing pains of a new relationship.

Depends on how badly you f**k up on this one.  If you commit any of the deeds listed above, then yes, it does matter, and you deserve to be alone and living with lots of cats.

Drunkenness and idiotic behavior usually come before his declaration of love. If you get into a fight with the perfect man you are dating because he screwed up the best thing that ever happened to him, he will get drunk, act like a fool, and then come back to you the next day with a grand apology and a confession of love. Maybe you’ll even get a ring!

If he has to get drunk in order to declare his love for you….RUN!!

He’ll only brings flowers if he’s done something wrong. You can smell a man who has done you wrong 100 feet away. Well…at least you can smell the roses he’s carrying. Beware—if he doesn’t confess, you’ll have to get it out of him.

Well, I’ll give them this one.  I’m lucky if I ever get flowers at all.  😦

Men often fall in love with their best friends. Even though he thinks you’re not for him…you are. He will finally understand his love for when you take off your glasses and cut your hair, or if you plan on marrying someone else.

Doesn’t falling in love with his best friend mean that he’s gay?  Because if that’s so, then he’s really not that into you.

If he hates you, that really means he loves you. The more you irritate each other, the more the sexual tension will build. Bonus points if you are also clumsy, quirky, or a workaholic. He will find it totally endearing.

There is a romance novel formula of the couple who bicker, get on each others nerves, and verbally spar with each other.  This is nothing but a smokescreen for the fact that they really want to jump each other’s bones.  This is not it.  If he hates you, then he hates you.

Sex is a beautiful, tender, and romantic act. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. He always knows just what he’s doing and will treat you like a princess in bed. Also, after sex he will not fall asleep immediately.

Women sometimes like the hot, nasty, raunchy, sweaty monkey sex, too.  We’re just not allowed to say so, or people will think we are slutty.

His best guy friend(s) is always a doofus. You can spot your man because he’s so much cooler than the immature, idiotic best friend.

Usually if his friends are doofuses (or is it doofi?), he is a big doofus, too.

If you run, hide, move, disconnect your phone, start a new life, he will come after you. No amount of time, distance, or complication can keep him away. If he loves you, he will not stop until he can find you and tell you.

If you run, hide, move, disconnect your phone, start a new life, etc. and he comes after you, he’s a stalker.  Restraining order.   Get one.  You shouldn’t need to buy a ticket to ride the clue bus for this one.

Dear Food Network

Dear Food Network,

I don’t know how to tell you this, but I have found another cooking channel.

I think I first had an inkling our relationship was in trouble when you gave me the American version of Iron Chef and it lacked the charm of the Japanese version.  I knew our relationship was hitting the skids when you started requiring your personalities to have not one show, but two, and the second show really showed how thin you were stretching the premise!  And I became uneasy when one by one when you started replacing your real chefs with personalities and reality show contestants who have little to no authority in the kitchen.  But the last straw was when you got rid of Emeril, who was both a personality and has authority in a kitchen.

My new TV cooking love, you see, may not be flashy and  may not be hawking overpriced cookware, but they are solid and dependable and honest and I know that I can always count on them to teach me to cook real dishes, give honest recommendations on ingredients and cookware, and not skimping on the food to spend more time and money creating tacky table settings with Dollar Store objet d’art.

Create is everything you used to be and everything I want in a cooking channel.   Create actually has a culinary point of view, which is the food.   Plus they seem to have the craft shows that your sister HGTV used to have, too.   In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been hanging out much with your sister these days, too.  Sometimes I hang out with your other sister, FLN, which seems to get all your sloppy seconds.  I don’t think that’s a very nice way to treat your sister now, is it?

Food Network, I am returning your Ten Dollar Dinners, your Chopped, and your Chef vs. City, but I will keep Brian Boitano and Good Eats because they are the few things still worth watching on your channel and I hope we can still be friends.   Maybe someday, you will realize that it’s not the best to try and be like someone else and perhaps you can get back to remembering why I fell in love with you in the first place.

Love,
msannomalley

Six Months and a New Direction

It’s been six months since I posted.  I am thinking of retooling this blog yet again because I am trying to pursue my dream of being a writer and blogging is one way to hone the craft and get my name out there without having to take the risk of quitting my job to do this.  Although part of what I am considering is just getting a domain and starting over, but keeping this in the interim.

I’m not sure what I am going to do with this yet, if I am going to keep the posts or delete them.  Since this won’t be a knitting blog anymore, I will most likely rename it.

What brought this on?  Another midlife crisis moment.  As I have posted before, my dream as a kid was to become a writer.  After some thought, I feel it is not too late to give it a shot and the internet makes it a lot easier to put my work out there.  I am not shooting to become a mega-millionaire writer (and if that were to happen, I’m not going to complain).  But if I can put my name out there, create a body of work, and then self publish the novel that is still in my head, I will consider that a success.   You can, if you spend the money, pay a fee to obtain a copyright for your work, and then pay another fee to obtain an ISBN number (which makes you a publisher), and if you have a website, you can make your work available for download.  Lots of starving writers do this.  This is how I feel I should do it, too.

In all honesty, I haven’t picked up much new fiction in the past few years, mainly because what is put out there just doesn’t appeal to me.  Instead, I end up re-reading older books I have enjoyed in the past and reading non-fiction.  I find the urge to write fueled by my desire to read something that interests me and doesn’t appeal to the lowest common denominator and follows the same formula because the media company who owns the publishing company doesn’t want to deviate from something that they think makes a lot of money.

I am still thinking of how I want to re-tool this and what I want to write about.  They say that when you blog, your blog should have a topic.  This is where I struggle, because I used to blog years ago and just wrote whatever random crap I thought of, but somehow it got people’s attention and I had an audience, so I think that maybe that is the direction in which I want to go.  I wrote random essays, a lot of my style is humorous, and then I posted all sorts of weird stuff I found online.  I also did a lot of stuff that would be better suited to Twitter, but Twitter did not exist back then.  My other sticking point is having enough material to post once per day and making the time to write it, especially with school.

Stay tuned….

ETA: I am going to keep the old posts for now, but some of the sidebar stuff will change.   If I end up migrating, then I may delete that stuff.

Waxing Philosophical on My Birthday

Three-hundred and sixty five days from now, I will hit the Big 4-0.  Yes, it’s my birthday today and I’m not ashamed to admit that I am 39 years old.

I’m okay with it.  I really am.  And I’m okay with turning 40 next year, too.  I hope that I have the same excitement next year that I did when I turned 30.  Back when that happened, I purposely went out and bought a coffee mug that shouted “30 Rocks!”  I embraced turning 30 in a big way.

I’m comfortable with all of this because I’d rather be the age I am now than be 18 again.  Youth is horribly overrated.  The only way I would even consider being 18 again is if I could keep all of the knowledge I have gained over the years.

One thing I have come to realize about age and getting older is that you can’t stop the inevitable.  No Botox, no plastic surgery, no hair plugs, no Viagra, no dressing like a 20 year old is going to stop the calendar.   The only thing about this that I can control is what I do with the time I am given.

When I turned 35, I ended up doing a lot of soul searching.  I had one of those “I’m 35 and what have I done with my life” moments.  I came to the realization that when I turned 40, I did not want to have another “what have I done with my life” moment and that I have the power to do something with my life.  Which is what led me to go back to school to get an associate degree.

School is for my job, so I can get a degree and move up.  I have the skills and I have the intelligence, but I lack the degree to move up in the company.  But school is also for myself because I’ve always talked about going back.  Talk is just words.  Talking about doing something isn’t going to get it done.  Action is what gets it done. Taking the bull by the horns and doing something to change your situation is the only way to make the most of the time you are given on this Earth.   For years, I would talk about going back, but I couldn’t afford it.  But when I realized that I could save up the amount of money to pay for one class and that one classes material from a few paychecks (after bills are paid), it made my “I can’t afford it” excuse null and void.   I decided that yes, I was going to do it, even if it meant I took one class at a time and it took me longer than five years to do it.

I’m not scared of the school work required of me to do this.  But there is that leap into the unknown that is scary.

Someday, when this is done, or perhaps right after this is done, I would like to do something else “for me”.  I would like to transfer my credits over to get a Bachelor’s degree in business.  It’s not so much for work as it is more personal.

I could have gone to college right out of high school, but didn’t.  In many ways, I’m glad I didn’t go then because at that point in my life, I could not have appreciated it.   Knowing the person I was then, I probably would not have finished school.   Back then, I didn’t think I deserved to go to college, or that I was worthy of going to college, even though I was certainly smart enough to get in and I could have worked my tail off to pay for it myself if that’s what it took to get through.

It took me years to work out all the issues I had when I was younger, particularly regarding my self-esteem.   I wasted a lot of my life and squandered opportunities because I didn’t think I was worthy of it.  I don’t believe that now I deserve to go to college.  Deserve implies some sort of entitlement, and I am not entitled to a Bachelor’s Degree.  However, I want to go to college.   I want to get my bachelor’s degree.   I will do what I have to in order to get through school and realize my goals.

Part of “growing up” is realizing that you and only you can determine the path your life takes.  Outside forces may try to derail your plans, but in the end, you are the one in control of things.  You may be born into a set of circumstances, but they are by no means permanent.  You can work your way out of those circumstances.  It may not be easy and it may not be the obvious path, but you can work your way out of them.   When you want things in life, you have to earn them.   You have to start out with nothing and work for what you have.  A lot of young people now seriously need to learn this lesson.  They need to suck it up, buckle down, and get to work.  Nothing good is gained when it is merely handed to you.

I did not have the greatest of childhoods.  I grew up with emotionally distant parents who neglected to give me the basic necessities in life (like regular doctor and dentist check-ups, not the latest fashions or a Walkman), while somehow always finding the money to do things that they wanted to do.   They did not show me affection, nor did they give me moral support, which is free and shouldn’t cost a thing.   It should be no surprise that I ended up with issues.

However, I have what I have in spite of them.   I had to be willing to face up to things that were not pretty or nice about myself and I had to be willing to change in order to do this.  I had to be willing to take responsibility for my own life to get where I am now.   Had I not done this…I’m not even sure I want to think about what kind of person I would be.