Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smackdown!

Hubby and I took The Boy downtown to Philips Arena on Monday night to see the WWE (for those of you that DON'T have 7 year old boys, that's World Wrestling Entertainment.)

I remember watching grainy wrestling on TV back in the 70s. Andre the Giant and Dusty Rhodes, The American Dream . . . those guys paved the way for what is the majesty of the modern WWE. These days, wrestling is a slick, packaged, professionally choreographed high dollar business, son. Walking in, we saw that the arena was ringed with huge RVs wrapped with glossy slick images of all of the wrestlers, flanked by caravans of Lincoln Navigators and limos.

The stage show rivaled anything I had ever seen, concert-wise. Pyrotechnics, jumbotrons, marquee lights running around the packed stadium.

A thing of beauty.

The boy was stunned by it all. It's one thing to have all of this on the television screen at home, and its quite another to have it there in front of you.

When the majesty was over, we were able to pick up some swag (t-shirt, John Cena dogtags and Hornswaggle green hat). Even THAT process was slick! Orderly lines, throngs of merch, credit card machines at the ready.

You know what the best part was, though? I was seated comfortably in my seat before I realized that I had sprung from the car, walked across the highway to the auditorium, walked to our portal, climbed the stairs, and hadn't even breathed hard. I was actually sitting in public seating with room to spare on each side. I can't remember the last time that happened.

Awesome. Oh, and go Rey Mysterio!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Big 5-0

This week will mark a momentous occasion . . . I will see my handy-dandy SkinnyR chart reflect 50 pounds lost.

I still think it's a fluke. I've never lost 50 pounds in my life.

Sure, I've lost 10, 20, 30, and one time, I managed to banish 35 pounds for a minute before it stormed the castle of my metabolism, reinhabited it and brought 10 or 15 of its Atilla the Hun-like brethren along for the party.

It's been 8 weeks now since my surgery, and it's still hard to believe that all of this is happening. It's surreal, really . . . just the seeming effortlessness of it almost makes me feel like I'm not working hard enough, not struggling hard enough, not paying enough dues to deserve it.

Until I think about the $50 large it cost, and the recovery.

You know what, though? It's alot like what everyone says about having a baby. You soon forget about the pain once you have the results of the labor. When I concentrate on what I went through to get here, I have a moment of clarity, and realize that I HAVE paid my dues.

Except I have been reared, raised and weaned on the idea that this has to be hard. I mean, it always has been, right? Haven't I had doctors and specialists tell me my entire life that this is hard work, and if I have the right attitude and the right motivation and the right willpower that I would be able to solve my weight issue?

Isn't that what they always told me?

I was thinking about all of this as I watched the premiere of "Ruby" last night on The Style Network. I have been looking forward to this show for a month or so now, because I felt a connection with Ruby Gettinger. Like me, she's Southern (she's from Savannah). Like me, she has 2 tiny dogs. Like me, she seems to have an affinity for keeping her tresses red. Like me, she has been fat since she was a child. Like me, she has had family and friends give her well-meaning but pointless ultimatums (i.e. "I'll marry you if you lose weight" or "I'll buy you a new wardrobe if you stick to your diet."

She seems to be about my age, but I'm not sure exactly how old she is. According to the previews, she's nearly 500 lbs and has been as high as 700, but damn if she isn't beautiful. I was rooting for her before I ever saw the show.

Then I saw the show. Ehh.

It was an hour of watching Ruby hoist herself up and down and in and out of her house, uncomfortable chairs, even MORE uncomfortable visits with doctors that were quick to offer horror stories about what would happen if she stayed fat and short on good advice and treatment for what would help her live longer. Everyone (the doctors, specialists, friends, family) said the same thing: Willpower and exercise.

Bullshit.

They filled the show with all of these extremely healthy fitness trainers and "experts" who assured Ruby that she was on the train to early death, and that she had it within her power to turn it all around with her treadmill, water aerobics and sensible eating.

Uhh, no, she doesn't. Wanna know why?

A shocking statistic that my surgeon shared with me stuck with me as I watched the show, and at one point someone whispered something similar, although it was quickly glossed over:

When you reach obesity the chances of you reaching and obtaining a healthy weight on your own with diet and exercise (what experts term long term success, which is 5 years of maintenance, kind of like cancer patients that are considered "cured" after 5 years of remission) are about 20%, so 80% of people that are considered obese will never reach or maintain anything close to a healthy weight with diet and exercise alone.

That was the bad news.

The WORSE news is . . . the bigger you are, the lower the percentages go. People that are morbidly obese (BMI 40+) have only about a 5% chance of long term success without surgical intervention. So, out of 100 really fat folks, 95 of them will die as big or bigger than they are today, more than likely from nasty complications of their obesity.

I'll keep watching, and rooting for her, but I sincerely hope that the Style Network isn't exploiting this wonderful woman for their own gain by putting her through some feel-good, shortsighted, odds-stacked-against-her-worse-than-Vegas craptables failure of a plan.

I wonder if she will ever get as pissed off about that as I did when I learned it. I wonder if she will ever see through all the smoke and mirrors and peptalks and demand better care for herself. I'm sure if she does, the show will be sure to point out (actually, they already have) that she is "a strong personality" and "manipulative" and "cunning", so the audience is already prepared to see any pushback on her part as some sort of ploy to get out of the "hard work".

Of course, if she fails, all of the experts have already said that she will die as a result of her own actions (or inactions) because she just couldn't control herself and "do the right thing".

'Cause it's supposed to be hard. We're supposed to suffer to solve this problem. Only a few of us deserve to make it, the ones that deserve to live because they make the personal sacrifice while the rest of us that can't do it on our own die.

Isn't that what they always told me?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Busy Bee

Man, what a weekend!

Last Friday started bright and early, cause I had to have work squared away by noon because The Boy's 2nd grade class was having "Fall Centers", which is a complete ripoff . . . in MY day, we had Halloween carnivals with scary houses and good candy, and it was the highlight of the year. "Fall Centers" means that during the last 1/2 hour of the school day, everyone gets to glue together a foam turkey and make a candy corn-bedazzled picture frame and . . . well, that's pretty much it.

BUT . . . I was determined to sneak the devil in by bringing in treat bags full of scary bat rings, and rubber bats, and glow in the dark skeletons, and GOOD candy. An hour later, I emerged, glue-covered with a happy boy and my girl, headed to the house to get ready for the trick and/or treating festivities to begin.

Full of Halloween spirit, we costumed up (even my tiny Chihuahua, LilBit, had a witch costume) and we headed to the mall. Hub, ever the pragmatist, mentioned something in passing about LilBit and the mall, but I was too hopped up to pay much attention. We entered the mall and began our parade down the hallways, earning oohs and ahhs for our costumes, and squeals of delight for our tiny pet. All was good until I was approached by mall security for some type of breach, and among a chorus of "Booooooooooo!"s, I was unceremoniously escorted out of the mall by the mall police.

That dampened our spirits a bit, but Hub was kind enough to kiss my cheek and not say "I told you so", and the boy lent his support by bellowing "This place blows!" on the way out the door. Ahh, my family.

On to bigger and better . . .

We had never "Trunk or Treat"ed before, but since our neighborhood is sort of devoid of the Halloween spirit, we thought we'd give it a whirl. My girl and I had bought a metric ton of good candy at the Kroger the night before (Midnight Madness sale - $1.65 per bag for the GOOD stuff, plus a full order of groceries for less than $200, score!) so we were loaded. I had no idea how to pull off a Trunk or Treat, so I just packed things that I would use at home, and we all piled into my Element and headed out (LilBit, too).


20 minutes later, our little vehicle was properly "trunked" and delighted fellow Trunkers oooohed and ahhhhed, saying that I must certainly be a "Trunking" veteran, which caused a deep blush of pride (luckily, my witch hat had a black veil that blocked most of it). We saw witches, and ghosts, and Star Wars characters, and fairies, and superheroes, and . . . and . . .and . . .all KIND of stuff.

It was getting chilly and really dark, and the Trunk or Treat was winding down, so we headed home, each kid with at least 5 lbs of candy to show for their efforts.When we pulled into our neighborhood, we saw some kids listlessly walking our street, so I hightailed it in to set up my Trunk props and threw on the front lights, and I was rewarded by visits from 10-15 kids, so that was cool.

Saturday was spent in pursuit of electric blankets (it's getting cold down here!) Hub and I have different core temperatures these days, and I can't seem to stay warm, so I had the idea that an electrified heat source might be just the answer, and keep the heating bill reasonable. So, the kids were good as gold as we schlepped all over town, through Bed Bath and Beyond and Linens n Things and other places looking for a decent deal. Everyone was up for lunch at Golden Corral, and a flash of my "surgery card" got me a nice little discount, since I'm still eating Lilliputian-sized meals.

The kids had evening plans, so we were able to slide away and get a low carb Smoothie King concoction and laugh at "Zack and Miri" at the AMC late Saturday night. Funny and horrible, just my style!

Sunday was a whirlwind of activity: we gutted and regorganized the Black Hole known as the laundry room, sorted clothing and came up with 5 or 6 bags for donation and hauled those to Goodwill, scored my electric blankets (damn, I love Big Lots - $40 for blankets that were $90 everywhere else, PLUS I found a bullet mixer to make my OWN Smoothie King smoothies, and it works like a charm, even on on the whole frozen strawberries, the bane of my regular blender's existence), cleaned all 3 bedrooms (dusting and vacuuming too), washed all the linens. blankets and covers, got Weenie into her Doxie Cart for some physical therapy and exercise, planned our intinerary for our Disney World trip in 3 weeks, and we changed out all the Halloween to Thanksgiving.

I laid down last night feeling great and commented to Hub that there is no way in hell I could have done all this 3 months ago.

It feels fantastic.
There was an error in this gadget