Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Attention, Nicole Richie:

It is now officially 43 hours after my departure from a weekend in New York, and I think this is the first hour of those previous 43 in which I've had the time to actually sit down and think. Funny how work doesn't really care that you're a fabulous jet-setter who reads Vanity Fair (okay, and People) during her flights and who gamely deals with flight delays and excruciatingly long runway taxis by chatting up the uber-suave Italian couple in the seats next to you about their vacation to (inexplicably) Columbus, Ohio. I got home Monday morning at about 2 am, hopped into bed until 6 am, hopped right out of bed and have pretty much operated on adrenaline up until about two this afternoon when I crashed and begged the nurse to hook me up to an intravenous caffeine drip.

One of the SUPER WONDERFUL quirks about my body, besides the child-bearing hips (I apparently got the "Quadruplets? No problem!" model), is the fact that any sort of narcotic that enters my system, whether it's cough syrup or Chianti, apparently takes an express route away from my pancreas and straight to my brain, thus negating any reasonable chance of normally metabolizing all the caffeine or alcohol or high-grade Sudanese opium (kidding!) I've consumed, and ensuring that the root beer float I had last Friday is going to make me feel like a meth addict until at least the following Wednesday. It's actually kind of handy for me; I don't like the taste of alcohol and I was always too chicken to try drugs in college, so I learned I could pretty much simulate the effects of a normal person's beer buzz by drinking down, say, a grande Frappuccino. On a typical Sunday morning during my first two years of college at a super-rural, super-Christian liberal arts school, most of my friends would be staggering to church still drunk (having likely gotten drunk after realizing they committed to spending four years of their lives at a super-rural, super-Christian liberal arts school) or coming down from a marijuana high, and I'd be working off the shakes from a Saturday evening bender of Mountain Dew and Twizzlers. Unequivocal lameness is my anti-drug.

So anyway, while I was sitting at my desk at work and trying not to shake uncontrollably from the cup of coffee I had to boost me back up to fighting form for the rest of the day, I happened to run across this article from the good people over at That's Fit regarding the link between childhood obesity and mothers who smoke while pregnant.

My mom is a lifelong pack-a-day smoker, or was until she gave up cigarettes last winter after visiting my grandmother in the nursing home and seeing room after room of elderly emphysema patients tied to their oxygen tanks and barely able to get out of bed before collapsing down again, winded from the exertion. My mom also smoked while she was pregnant with me and my little brother, a fact that I conveniently use to assign blame for all my faults, from being really short to having an unfortunate addiction to Perez Hilton. This article makes me wonder whether or not I can really point my finger at one of her discarded packs of Marlboro Lights as an accomplice in developing my Rubenesque figure.

At the end of the study, the scientists speculated that babies of pregnant smokers were likely nutrient starved while in utero, and so have to make up their deficiencies by eating lots and eating often as they grow. But does the fact that right now my inner voice is seductively whispering about the jumbo bag of mini candybars nestled in my plastic jack-o-lantern bowl really mean that I was deprived of whatever's in a Kit Kat wafer as a fetus? By that same logic, and as several other studies have suggested, the fact that my body was pumped full of nicotine and tar every time my mom lit up a cig means I should have the same cravings and withdrawal symptoms that an adult smoker has even after quitting for several years. Honestly, though, I think I'd prefer eating one of my Halloween Kit Kat bars that had been dipped in ketchup and dredged through used cat litter before I'd willingly suck down a cancer stick, so I'm not really buying the whole retroactive eater/smoker hypothesis.

As I commented on this blog entry, I think maybe the more plausible explanation for the link between pregnant smokers and obese children is that women who don't shrink from putting huge amounts of toxins inside their own body, especially while growing life inside it, probably don't give healthy lifestyle choices much of a thought in general. Cigarettes cost a lot of money, and if your family was like mine, paying for Mommy's cigarettes meant that we'd have to cut corners somewhere else and that usually meant we ate a lot of frozen or packaged junk food instead of fresh fruits or vegetables. My dad also smoked when I was a kid, and I remember that neither of them really had the stamina to get up and run or jump or play with me or my brother, so we usually ended up bonding as a family through movies or television instead of something more active.

I'm not entirely sure if I buy this article, but I think even if it doesn't pan out as a solid biological link between cigarettes and fat, at the very least it'll scare a few female smokers into realizing that if you repeatedly put something nasty inside your body while you're pregnant, you're a total moron and your baby will suffer.

I'm interested to know, though: Among those of you who are or have struggled with obesity, how many of your mothers smoked while she was pregnant with you?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Therapy on Three Inch Heels

I ran out of gum last night.

Now hush yourselves and your replies of "So what?", because for me, running out of gum is a BIG freaking deal. I buy gum or mints or breath strips every single time I make a trip to a store, so that every pocket of every purse from every decade in which I ever bought a purse can be overflowing with some sort of breath-related paraphernalia. I am obsessed with minty freshness. I need gum.

So, of course, during my trip up to the trendy Bohemian part of KC, in which I got lost in the interwoven, poorly marked streets and terraces and avenues, and during which I stopped at a pretentious, arty European bistro where I ate a pretentious, arty, and overpriced vegetarian crepe with lots and lots of garlic and tomatoes, I ran out of gum. I parked underneath a SURVEILLANCE IN PROGRESS sign in a vaguely seedy apartment parking lot and began frantically rummaging through every fold of the three purses currently occupying the passenger side floorboard of my car. I found empty gum packages, and discarded gum wrappers, and even the pistachio colored dust from a package of spearmint Extra, but there was no actual GUM to be found. I pondered going back out into KC Bohemia long enough to stop at a grocery store and replenish, but that would've involved maneuvering my giant boat of a car back across several pedestrian crossings and through the langorously moving throngs of college students with their charmingly sloppy clothing and their messenger bags and their beaming, unstressed faces just radiating the joy of responsibility-free living, and at that moment...driving my inherited powder blue '95 Buick Lesabre with my grandmother's United Methodist Women bumper sticker still clinging tenaciously to chrome, smoothing down the soccer mom haircut my stylist decided I needed earlier in the day, and so desperate for non-garlicky breath I would've been willing to French kiss a stranger for the toothpaste in their mouth...at that moment I was just not having any of it, so I sat in that darkening parking lot and just fumed over my situation, silly as it was. It was going to be a bad evening.

Part of the reason I was so uptight was because last night was my very first time to try dancing again after this incident occurred in the fall of last year. Over the past twelve months I've mooned over tango-tagged YouTubes, browsed vacation packages to Buenos Aires, and kept a close eye on the Kansas City tango forums, all without actually doing anything about getting back into it. When I found out that our local tango teacher was going to be in town for a few weeks before leaving for Argentina, I decided there was really no more excuses for not dancing, so I signed up for private lessons with him. I was already shaky and nervous about the prospect of coming back to an activity from which I backed away to spare myself further humiliation; the idea of doing it on a private basis while breathing my toxic waste breath on a near-stranger was enough to send me over the edge.

While I was changing my shoes in the little family room of the sprawling American Foursquare manse my teacher owns, I wondered where my omnipresent pessimism had come from. If I had to fill out a personality inventory, I'm pretty sure I would've marked "optimist" if given the choice. I think, or at least I used to think that way. I have optimism for other people and situations that happen to me; I completely believe my friends and family will pull through whatever crisis they're experiencing, and when my finances are stretched or I'm faced with a problem at work I have every confidence in my ability to pull through and make the best of the situation.

But when it comes to my sense of self-efficacy in accomplishing things that would make me a happier person, or a more fulfilled person...well, I have none. I spend a few minutes each day researching ideas for a new career, but the prospect of returning to grad school or starting out on a new job path petrifies me. I make excuses to avoid social gatherings because I'm certain I'll have a rotten time. I doom new relationships before I give them a chance because I assume they'll end up like my marriage. I am an unequivocal, unabashed pessimist when it comes to doing anything that would soften my cynicism for the world and my place in it. While I was sitting in that little room waiting for my lesson, I realized that 100% of that negativity came from the way I feel about myself, and that I blame external circumstances as a way to hide the fact that I don't really think I'm worth having the good things in life. The undesirable people at potential parties or evenings out hide the fact that I'm scared that no one will talk to me, or I'll be the ugliest, most awkward person in the room. The cost of continuing education, and the risks involved in leaving one career for a completely different one are all things thousands of other people have had to conquer in their lifetime, but I refuse to believe it can happen to my satisfaction because deep down I'm really frightened that all I'll end up being is another unmotivated, underachieving employee with an extra diploma in the back of my closet. And this gum thing...well, I knew it had very little about what was going on in my mouth, and way more about what was going on in my head about my body and my appearance. Let's face it, a lifetime of being not very attractive has probably made me more self-centered about my looks than I would've been had I ended up a raving beauty. The "bad evening" wasn't going to be bad because my breath could cut crop circles so much as I was going to have to let a man put his arms around my body, legs and torso up against mine, and guide me to depend on him for movement and standing still and expressing something we couldn't do without the intimacy of a physical connection.

The first quarter of our lesson together was...rocky, I would say. We danced a song to see what I remembered, and I was so stiff in his arms I actually gave myself, like, tango whiplash from holding my shoulders tight. When he turned off the music, I silently congratulated myself for not falling over, not sweating, and not breathing, in or out, at all (although if I had, I really doubt the stank breath would've made much difference...he had a good 18 inches on me in height, so the only thing I potentially could've offended was his left nipple). He looked at me, cocked his head, and kind of sighed before he said that somehow my body managed to be simultaneously weak and rigid at exactly the same time. This was not news to me; I had nearly passed out from the combined effort of sucking in every single one of my bodyparts that had jiggle potential and also holding on to him without actually putting any of my weight on his body. I was basically a how-to on embodying every single bad tango habit in the first five minutes of my dancing career.

We spent the next hour talking about how essential being aware of where your partner's body is, being present in the moment and in the music, and being patient and trusting enough to wait for your partner to move when he wants and stop when he wants. We did lots of exercises that involved leaning into one another with my boobs smooshed into his chest and holding our arms out at the sides, and the entire time we were doing that I fought the mental image of one of my favorite scenes in cinema history ever, except mirrored by my instructor and I like a Rorschach blot of total awesomeness.

I was really surprised at how much just dancing and learning with this man dredged up all sorts of really intense, shitty reactions. Like, how I stiffen whenever someone touches me, and how I can't trust anyone enough to actually depend on them for something as simple as moving my legs to the music in the direction they want to go. It took me at least 30 minutes of the lesson to finally believe that pressing my stomach up against his pelvis wasn't going to result in him recoiling in disgust, and even though right now I intellectually believe he was fine with it, I still have this awful thought in the back of my head that he's going to dread dancing with me every single time I show up because I'm just not worth it. This whole concept of just...letting go...it's been a problem my whole life, and a lot of my relationships and ambitions have suffered for the lack of it. I can't hold hands with a boyfriend while we're walking down the street, or lie on the coach together to watch TV without the fear of somehow crushing his body with my own. In all the plays I did or the recitals I performed in college, my performances were always marred by the fact I could never really get inside the music or the character until the very last second before the curtain rose, and then it was too late or not enough. I walk through life with my shoulders squared for battle, because the idea of just embracing the freedom abandon, even once, means I will make a fool of myself, and in my addled brain I already have enough reasons to look like a loser on a normal day; I don't need this too.

And I know that's not really true...I KNOW it's not. But I still don't really believe it, you know? My friend Veggie B! and I talk often about holistic medicine and whole body wellness because she's living out in Hippie Xanadu (Asheville) and learning about natural healing and massage. Our last conversation revolved around the idea that everything going on in your body, good or bad, is intrinsically linked to what's going on (or has been going on) inside your brain. And some of it is obvious: indigestion is related to stress, depression can cause all sorts of maladies, when you're anxious your immune system is less able to fight off infections. I mean that's all pretty duh, right? But the idea of it really got me to think about the whole pathology of why I got fat in the first place, and why I'm still fat now. I mean, I know I was a chubby kid because I ate a lot and I sat at home and read instead of going outside and playing like I should've. But after a point, when the innocent overeating turns into emotional overeating...why does your body go along with it? Why can't your brain discern that this isn't good at all, and it should be stopped. If Veggie B's theory holds true, I'm fat because something in my brain tells me I should be. And I knew, right there as I was clinging on to my teacher's neck for dear life while I learned the back ocho, that maybe I'm fat because it keeps people far away from me, and that I create the distance for myself because I don't really think I'm worth getting close to...that inevitably I'll be a disappointment to whomever sees through the sarcasm and emotional frigidity and then my secret'll be out and the world will know that I'm not much. Pasta Queen once explained obesity as kind of a superpower...that it gave you the ability to be invisible enough in society to observe the true character of the people you know. I agree with that, but I think maybe if you wanted to extend the whole Justice League theme, it's also kind of a ready-made force field too...a 100 lb. flak jacket that lets you hide from meaningful interactions and relationships because you can always assume they're going to reject you offhand, just because you're fat. Apparently, obesity is my uber-lack of gum. Or something.

When the next couple came in to dance at 8:00 pm, I absolutely did not want to go, and it only had a very little to do with the usual, "Hey, I'm getting better! Or less bad!" kind of reaction. I just wanted to stay draped around that man's neck for the rest of my life, not out of any sort of lust or crush or anything like that, but because I COULD and it was okay and he didn't start projectile vomiting when I touched him and Paraguay didn't spontaneously combust when the back of my neck started to get a little sweaty and for at least, you know, five seconds of our first lesson together there was a connection...a total abandonment of reserve and pretense and my infuriatingly omnipresent internal monologue that so easily stymies the joy I can find in truly nice things.

Anyway, I have three more lessons coming up, and I think they'll be good, and even if I end up being a totally horrendous dancer, at least I'm getting some pretty inexpensive therapy in the process. And yesterday morning before I had coffee, took a shower, fed the cats, or made my bed, I went to the store and bought three variety packs of gum, two Listerine breath sprays and a tin of Altoids. Next time is going to be a good one.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The BMI Photo Project

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about finally slipping out of the "morbidly obese" and into the plain old "obese" bracket of the Body Mass Index charts. I talked a little bit about how shocking it was to find out my size meant I was unhealthy enough to die from it, since I was pretty sure I felt pretty vibrant and lively most of the time.

If you need further proof that BMI is only objective in the eyes of the National Institute of Health or the Center for Disease Control or whoever thought it up, here is a Flickr Project devoted to putting faces to those numbers:

Check out the very compelling BMI Illustration Project.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I should just never, ever write posts that even allude to success or well-being or self-satisfaction because they will inevitably come back to bite me in the ass.

I feel so bad for my poor, neglected blog and my shiteous posts of late, but I cannot get over feeling sick this year. This week I felt so generally ill I managed to convince myself I had diabetes, drove to an urgent care facility in Kansas, and pleaded with the staff to give me a finger-prick test. I laid on the examining table for an hour while people poked and prodded my flesh and I peed into a cup and the whole time it was going on I pretty much knew I wouldn't end up being diabetic, because whenever I get this sick there is never, ever anything specifically wrong with me.

The doctor came in after my lab results were done, and I had this brief moment of wanting to soil my pants when he sat down on his rollie-stool, pulled out my chart and said with a wry voice, "Well, your urinalysis came back and your blood sugar is absolutely perfect, but you are..."

...and I'm not exactly certain what he said at the end of that sentence because my mind's ear heard "PREGNANT" and I had a little mini-panic attack because even though I intellectually knew there was no possible, biological way I could've ended up pregnant, I am so paranoid about getting sperminated that I will run to the drugstore for an EPT if I even so much as bump into someone wrong at the post office. So, after a brief, torturous moment of envisioning my new future of Pampers and paternity suits, I realized that he was handing me a prescription for antibiotics and not prenatal vitamins. Apparently, I've been harboring a rather nasty and persistent infection in my body for several weeks and it was to blame for the nausea, and the fever, and the dehydration, and the swollen eyes, and the swelling, and the temporary anorexia, and the overriding feeling of wanting to just embrace sweet, sweet death every time I had to move my body (but, unfortunately, not to blame for my ill-advised purchase of an unreturnable fuschia print kimono dress from a Target clearance rack last Tuesday).

Since the Cipro started kicking in mid-afternoon today, I've already started feeling a little perkier, and I'm hoping tomorrow I can actually get up and move around a lot more than I have for the past month. In a way, it's encouraging to know that this bone-crushing fatigue was at least in part due to being legitimately sick instead of just sedentery or depressed, but it's also kind of a startling wake up call for me to realize that my immune system is a lazy bastard who prefers clipping his toenails and watching reruns of "The Nanny" on afternoon Lifetime to actually PROTECTING MY BODY FROM DISEASE. I was the most healthy, sturdy person I knew all the way through childhood, adolescence, and college; I'd have like one bout of flu or strep once a year and would otherwise be so vibrantly, annoyingly healthy that I'd have to fake sick in order to get to take a day off once in awhile. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that my health problems started right when my marriage fell apart, and that living on a futon and drinking myself to sleep every night for a year and a half during the "we're separated but living in the same house/shut up it's complicated" period probably wasn't the greatest choice for me health-wise, but it's been almost two years since that happened and no matter whether I get more sleep, less sleep...whether I shop at Whole Foods or spend a week scarfing down coney dogs at Sonic...whether I'm working out or napping every day after school...nothing I try or do seems to ever give me enough breathing room with my health to actually DO anything about it.

I'm not exactly where to turn on this. Should I get a full workup at my doctor's office to find out if something bigger is the underlying factor for all these illnesses I've had in the last year? Should I just keep doing what I'm doing and try to take regular baths in hand sanitizer on the side? Should I look into something more holistic, even though I'm not sure exactly what "holistic" entails?

I'd really appreciate advice or ideas, because I'm sort of stuck. I just want to feel better, be able to be active and healthy as much as possible. Because there's still a lot of stuff about life I need to investigate, you know? Like why my town's Super Wal-Mart always smells like farts, and how wide my mother's nostrils will flare when I mention that I'm thinking about going back to school for another degree. I just don't want to keep missing out on life, even though hunkering down amongst the blankets and the pillows and the cats for the past month hasn't been all that bad, either.

Linky Goodness

Since I've been spending a lot of time in bed on my back (that really didn't sound as dirty inside my head), I played around with my template and added a bunch of links to excellent nutrition/exercise resources on the Web, non-diet blogs I read every day, and my treasure trove of my very favorite timewasters. Check them out, but don't blame me when you find yourself skipping work next week to read through ten years of IRC chat archives on Bash.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Aight, so. The Biggest Loser thing.

Two weeks ago I received a very innocuous email in my work inbox from a friend of mine who asked if I wanted to do a weight loss challenge. I was all for it, assuming it was just a thing among our friends and we'd go walking after school and maybe go for salads on Friday nights and it'd be fun and I'd be able to blog about it and that was it. I was so, so wrong.

It ended up being a school-wide thing, and we were divided up into teams of five with each member assigned to a team so we would all roughly have the same aggregate weight. So it was kind of like a team comprised of The Fat Girl, The Kind of Chunky Girl, The Two Ladies Who Want to Lose 10 lbs. Before Their Retirement Cruises in 2008, and The Girl Who Really Had No Business Losing Weight At All. I'm sure you can all guess which role I'm occupying in this debacle. I am on a team with Gen, she of the hotdogs wrapped in cheese infamy from a prior post, and before we even started the challenge I started hiding my carbs from her ever-watchful eyes during lunch. God help me when I walk into the cafeteria on baked potato day, because I feel like I have to go home and put on a hairshirt or flagellate myself to work out the palpable disappointment she has for those of us not strong (or masochistic) enough to endure Atkins for the duration of this thing.

Anyway, so things kind of got out of hand the first week when a huge argument ensued amongst the Ladies Who Lunch (although not so much now) about whether we should choose the winner by the amount of pounds lost or the percentage of their starting weight lost. I was the one who suggested the percentage thing, figuring it wasn't fair if the thin women who joined the challenge to build muscle or get healthier couldn't even begin to compete with the substantially larger women who could lose 10 lbs. just by cutting out sugared sodas. Apparently this was high blasphemy to the other women, who started screeching about "ridiculous amounts of algebra involved" and other blindingly intelligent statements about skinny bitches who didn't need the win anyway. We reached a detente by dividing up the kitty (we're each paying $10 to lose weight) so that the person who lost the highest percentage of body weight got an individual prize, and the team who lost the most poundage would get a separate prize. All was well in Mudville until another woman suggested whoever gained or who just didn't lose that would should have to pay a penalty fee into the kitty. At this point I stalked out of the lunchroom, a Gladware container of whole wheat spaghetti in my hands and a look of supreme disgust on my face. I think I may have told her what I thought of her idea in slightly too-harsh terms, because now she doesn't make eye contact with me in the hall. I'm fine with this, as it seems to have simultaneously abated her entreaties for me to accompany her to an Assembly of God speed-dating night next month. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I wrote the above half of this post at the beginning of last week when my mouth was filled with the pleasant, minty taste of indignation and I had lots and lots of bad things to say about this challenge. I guess I've backed off this week, mostly because, well, my team's in the lead (the prospect of easy money usually shuts me up pretty quickly), and also because the attitudes from all the teams has made a profound switch from catty to supportive and that's heartening to see. I'm still worried about the women who leave the nurse's office in tears because they only lost a pound and their friends lost seven that week, and we've all been commenting on how gaunt my friend Stacie's face is looking since she stopped eating solid foods and started sucking down protein shakes for every meal, but I guess a thing like this is all about figuring out your own limits and what's healthy for you, and not what's healthy for everyone else.

I'm doing pretty well on my own; I'm sitting very comfortably at about 210.5 lbs. this week, which means I've had a 3 lb. loss in the last ten days and I've also officially reached my goal of losing 10% of my body weight (were I still in Weight Watchers I would be fondling my 10% keychain right now). I'm very, very happy with the progress I've been making and as the clothes start to get a little bit looser each day I'm more and more motivated to keep plodding along. I have two new goals for the end of 2007: First, I'd like to drop under 200 by New Year's Eve, which I think is imminently doable in eleven weeks, and I'd also like to completely pay off my credit card debt by December 31st as well (slightly less easy, but certainly within reach if I can break my habit of staring lovingly at high-heeled boots on endless.com for the rest of the year).

One other major goal is to seriously try to get moving again. I baaaadly need to exercise, or else all this fat loss is going to turn into muscle loss and someday I'll be 104 lbs. of pure jiggle and that ain't pretty. I've confessed before that I really despise exercising, and I hate nothing more than getting home from work and having to change clothes and go right back out to hit the gym. With this second job and the screwed up hours of our local rec center, especially, it's very difficult during the school year and I don't ever seem to make in time to actually do anything. I would ultimately like to buy a used treadmill sometime early next year after I've finished paying down some stuff, but in the meantime I'm going to actually use my gym membership and start slowly like how I slowly got the eating and the crazy thing under control. This week all I'm going to make myself do is three 30-minute workouts and that's it. It's lame, I know, but any other time I've created elaborate workout schedules and resolved to pick up my 90 minute/5-6 days a week workout regime from days of yore, it never works out. I gotta start thinking less like College Student With No Perceivable Responsiblities Erin who could go to the gym at 10 am as easily as 10 pm and more like Old Lady Erin Who Gets Excited Over a Good Pair of Naturalizers and Also Has More Bills Than Time and realize I can't go full out until I've built up the stamina and the desire to do so.

I actually get a week where I'll be home at night more than not, so I'm looking forward to checking in with each of you soon. Have a great week, and take very good care of you!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Update, Part Deux

The old monitor is dead! Long live new, bigger monitor!

I actually scored my replacement monitor at a garage scale last week, but I then got very distracted by the new! fancy! laptop! that showed up in a box in my classroom on Wednesday and demanded to be taken home and stroked lovingly for the rest of the week. I had a business trip from Thursday to today and now I'm finally home, listening to my cats engaging in a standoff with some random cat who's decided to make my Adirondack deck chairs his new permanent base of operations, and feeling decidedly overstuffed after my weekend of a lot of eating and not much moving.

The woman who accompanied me on this trip is a bona fide Uber-Mom, in that she packed three travel packs of Kleenex, a flashlight, four bottles of lotion, fourteen cans of diet soda and juice, a bulk pack of Kashi cookies, a bag of chocolate, and a box of Poppycock all in one medium-sized purse. During a minor electrical fire in our hotel, she managed to emerge from the bathroom completely butt-naked from the shower, dress herself in a very tasteful capri pant and brushed cotton jacket ensemble, and apply lipstick in the amount of time it took for me to murmur "I think I hear an alarm", then say, "I don't know if this is something to worry about, but people are running", and then shriek "There is SMOKE and you're going to have to STOP PACKING UP THE POPPYCOCK".

Anyway, spending the weekend with Uber-Mom was spent eating and then eating and then wishing Uber-Mom's mother had never introduced her to food, because this woman? She likes her food, and she likes it in copious amounts at regularly scheduled intervals regardless of how full we were from the meal before. I left for the trip fairly buoyed because the scale was sitting at 213, and now the thousands of pounds of food rotting in my intestines is going to make it a little bit difficult for me to pull off a successful weigh-in for Week #1 of our school's Biggest Losers competition (more on that debacle tomorrow).

I hope everyone's week was good, and I'll check up on you starting tomorrow night. I'm really looking forward to getting back into the swing of eating comfortably, eating well, and never, ever eating Poppycock again.