Monday, March 29, 2010

I just had a feeling…

I typically use this blog as a foundation for publically bragging about myself, or mildly complaining about my job and hectic life.  Today, I will use this blog as an open invitation for you to laugh at me.  Well, I’m laughing, too, so maybe all’s not lost.  Maybe there’s a little bragging…

About twenty or so people at work threw in ten bucks to participate in a ‘Biggest Loser’-type competition.  Initial weigh-in occurred on Day 1 and all body fat percentages were captured.  Six weeks later (coming up on April 8th) we weigh in again and the ‘Biggest Loser’ gets the pot.  A few of us in the group are VERY competitive…not winning isn’t an option, so we’re taking this to extremes.

Blah blah…I’m down about ten pounds.  Prior to this weight loss, I was already in need of smaller pants.  A few people, including my Mom, consistently remarked about how ridiculous my clothing looked, particularly my pants.  I didn’t mind one bit; I felt comfortable in bigger clothing.  It’s just more snuggly. 

A lovely girl I work with, we’ll call her Jan to protect the innocent, works part time at a clothing store and urged me to go shopping.  I’m not a fan of shopping, especially clothing shopping.  I strongly dislike changing rooms, taking my shoes off and on, staring at myself in a ‘fat’ mirror under fluorescent lights, etc.  All the typical complaints that a woman complains of; yup, I’m part of that crew.

Jan gave me a few decent coupons and reminded me of her weekend hours.  Oh, hell.  Sure, I’ll go.  I phoned my Mom and we had decided to leave for the mall on a Saturday morning at 11 am with my beautiful Ava in tow.  We were on a mission.  Parking turned out to be a non-issue and we headed right to Jan’s store.  So far, so good.

I felt weird walking into the shop; the club-ish music pounded in the background and I was instantly ignored by most of the teeny boppers.  I’m only thirty-three, but boy, did I feel old.  The girls did not seem to appreciate that I was in there with my Mom and a two year old girl.  Maybe my dress didn’t help the situation: hair in loose ponytail, ripped jeans, baggy sweatshirt, minimal make-up; ya know, typical ‘me’ on a weekend. 

I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  Those girls will regret it because I plan on dropping some real cash. 

The selection of clothing appeared a little limited, but I made it this far.  There’s no backing out now; I have engaged in the mission.  A few items jumped out at me and I started piling the stroller with jackets, shirts, pants, more shirts and a skirt – about 15 pieces, total.  Suddenly, Miss Sunshine appeared out of nowhere and immediately escorted me to a changing room.  Ugh.  Changing. 

Sunshine waited on me until I tried on the correct sizes and was satisfied with more than three quarters of the items.  She made goo-goo faces at Ava, exclaiming ‘How Cute!’  She asked if I had a store credit card, to which I answered ‘no’, but my Mom was willing to open one just for the additional discount.  Sunshine, with a spring in her step, escorted us to the registers where she bid us good-bye and went about her merry way.

Metro Mike, with his headset, swaggered over to the register and asked if we were opening a charge.  My Mom started the paper work and I dropped the coupon on the counter asking if the card discount could be used in conjunction with the coupon.  Metro grabbed the coupon and gave it a suspecting look.  ‘Um, like, we aren’t affiliated with this store anymore.  I can, like, check if we’ll take it, but I’m thinking, um, no.’  It was then that I realized I had gone to the wrong store. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Times Like These

The house is quiet.  While I sit here at the kitchen table, the rising sun is blazing through the bay window, reflecting off the cayenne-colored walls and warming the room.  I haven’t yet had a cup of coffee.  It’s actually been two weeks since I had one.  It’s not really missed…anymore.

I wrote that paragraph on Sunday morning…it’s now Tuesday night.  As soon as I typed that last period, I heard the upstairs toilet flush while Ava started to sing ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’.  The silence was over. 

So…Tuesday night: the house is quiet.  I’m slowly sinking into my couch while the glow of a muted hockey game fills the room.  I’m sinking into the couch because it’s a terrible couch; it’s not comfortable.  Not at all.  I actually despise the couch.  It’s a sore spot in my back, a flare in my sciatic and a kink in my neck.  It literally sucks me in between the cushions and holds me there.  This is the true description of ‘the couch of doom’ (1). 

I have my aching feet propped up on the ottoperson (a.k.a. ottoman); I spent roughly eight hours on my feet.  For some reason I can take the joint pounding of running for two and a half hours, but if I stand for one hour, I need to start stretching.  This couch isn’t helping. 

This week will be a test in my strength.  Long days, on my feet, while trying to maintain a modified eating plan (for the office ‘Biggest Loser’ competition) and increasing my mileage to appropriately train for the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon at the end of April.  Oddly enough, both yesterday and today didn’t try my patience.  Maybe it’s the change in weather. 

Have I been so down in the dumps with the day-to-day because of the weather, and not for the actual day-to-day?  Yesterday, I worked ten hours and only saw Ava for forty-five minutes before bed time.  Did the weather make this tolerable?

Today, after work, I drove with my windows opened.  The fresh air was a welcomed change.  Maybe this is what I needed.  Maybe this is making my body aches tolerable and easing my resistance to this damn couch.  After all, I am sitting on it. 

The thought of this dreadful week has shifted to positive thoughts: I can start eating some lean meats tomorrow, so I better get propane for the grill, gotta pick up daffodils for the table, maybe I’ll brush off the deck’s chairs so I can enjoy my tea outside in the morning. 

Oh, what?  Wait.  Never mind.  It’s going to rain on my springtime parade.



(1)  Walker, Steve (alias Runner, Steve). Phedippidations Podcast.

Steve Runner often references ‘the couch of doom’ as the piece of furniture in a person’s home responsible for destroying their fitness goals.  It’s almost described as an alternate dimension that is difficult to free oneself from.  Just check out he podcast.  Steve posts weekly.     Phedippidies, a herald in Ancient Greece, ran twenty-five miles to announce Greek victory in the Battle of Marathon.  He collapsed on the spot, dying of exhaustion.  Guess he wouldn’t have done well in the ultra-marathons.