It’s lunchtime. Where’s Batman?

Eating at home, especially during lunchtime, is an easy way to lose a few pounds. I discovered (by accident, mind you) that I eat less when I cook.  

No, it’s not ‘cause I’m a bad cook. I am, however, a lazy cook, who happens to be pretty handy with a bag of ingredients. I’m a fastidious chef. I measure each protein, carb and fat gram. I carefully mince my spices and julienne my veggies to add flavor and color. Then, I lovingly serve my meal on a small plate with matching glassware and shiny silverware. No paper plates and plastic cups for this Southern belle!

Riddle me this? Why don’t I think about eating when I’m cooking? I’m so not kidding here. I think about the preparation, the process and, honestly, the presentation.

This makes no sense. I’m consumed with thoughts of ice cream, cookies, and chips when I’m angry, sad, scared, or just plain bored. Yet, when I’m cooking, I’m…well…cooking. I’m not tasting or sampling or licking freakin’ spoons.

Now that’s a riddle—layered in chocolate—waiting to be eaten by an enigma when she’s lonely. Where’s Batman when I need him?

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Ass kickin’ chicks aren’t lazy…

I don’t feel like exercising today. No Pilates, no walking, and definitely no planking. Honestly, I barely feel like moving my fingers across this keyboard. Yes Garfield, today is Monday.

It’s 4.30 p.m. and I’m sitting on my sofa debating whether a cup of tea will give me the energy needed to put on my exercise clothes.

It’s been one of those days. I woke up at 6 a.m. with plans to do a Pilates workout. A serious headache, sore throat, and slight fever derailed those plans.

It’s 4:58 and I feel better, not great, but well enough to take a walk. Yet, I’m still sitting on my sofa, except now I’m wearing a Nike tee.

It’s funny. Not ha-ha funny, but ah-ha funny that my tee-shirt reads, “diva.” Those who know me get that “ah-ha.” It goes on to describe diva as 1) a legendary female athlete…requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina, and 2) ass kickin’ chick. Ah ha!

It’s 5:30 and I’ve put on my well-worn tennis shoes and done a few stretches. It’s time to take a speed walk. After all, I have a reputation to live up to, right? 

Fear and loathing with whiny co-eds…

I’ve worked in higher education for more than 15 years. I’ve mentored many students—on smelly roommates, cheating lovers, boring professors.

Usually, I’m a sounding board. Other times, I offer advice.  Some listen, others don’t, but I keep at it, because I love interacting with students, especially freshmen.

Yeah, 18-year-olds are just better dressed versions of two-year-olds. But, 18 is such a great age—you love everybody, fear nothing, and try anything.

But time flies. Soon, four, six or 10 years have passed, and it’s time to graduate. Just kidding, sorta.

A young 22-year-old senior visited me yesterday.  “I wanna stay one more year at Ole Miss,” she whined. “My boyfriend doesn’t like finish until December. I wanna go to Mardi Gras like one more time.” I stopped listening.

How many opportunities have I missed simply because? ‘Cause I didn’t have time.  ‘Cause I wouldn’t make time. ‘Cause, I was, well, afraid. George Eliot said, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

Yesterday, I brushed fear aside, hell; it was time, but more on that story later. Oh, yeah, I told Ms Mardi Gras to like grow the freak up, and go away, like now.  

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer…

For some insane reason I allowed my cousin Cynetha to talk me into participating in a 10-day ab challenge. Yes, it’s as painful as you imagine. Yesterday, I successfully completed a torturous workout that included 20 sit-ups and a 20-second plank. Today, I did 30 sit-ups, followed by a 30-second plank.  

Uh, I don’t about you, but I hate planking. It hurts. Seriously! My arms are still burning.

As I sit (trying not to breathe ‘cause my abs hate me), I’m wondering if I should add Cynetha to my growing list of enemies. It’s a long list and I’m quite proud of that fact.

Challenges—some are scary and some are downright painful.  But, most are life-changing, life-altering, life-affirming.

I set a goal to lose 5 percent of my current weight by June 30. Still, I keep derailing myself. Some days I realize that eating a box of cupcakes negates hours of exercise, but some days I don’t realize what I’m stuffing in my face until I’m fighting the ants away from the cookie crumbs on my desk.

I am my own worst enemy, and yes I’m #1 on my enemies list.

Stress. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

I’m still trying to incorporate “HALT” in my vocab. The acronym stands for hungry, angry, lonely or tired—the four most common triggers for emotional eating. Today I’d like to add “stress” to the list.

SHALT? Nope, that’s not a great acronym. HALTS is a bit better, but I digress.

According to WebMD, stress is a normal part of life. Stress becomes a problem when a person, say me, can’t relax between challenges. What’s more, 75 to 90 percent of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments. Huh? So, does this mean stress caused me to gain weight? Don’t laugh. I think I’m on to something here.  

Last Tuesday I admitted to craving ice cream after 5 p.m. I should have admitted to eating ice cream at the end of most work days. Work has been, well, painful lately. I’m not dealing well and haven’t been for a long time. I can’t seem to de-stress after work without junk food and it’s showing in my blood pressure numbers.

Rebecca suggested I take up knitting. This led to an inane conversation on whether knitting is the same as crocheting. Is it?

Anyhoo, I wonder where I stashed my hooks and yarn?

Waiting patiently for bad service and bad news…

It is estimated that the average human spends 45 minutes a day waiting. So here I sit—45 minutes later— waiting for my 10 a.m. doctor’s appointment.

It doesn’t take blood work and a gross urine sample to tell me how I’m doing. Nope, I don’t need some jerk wearing a white coat to tell me that I’m not eating healthy. Since I’m being honest, I’ll just be brutally honest. I’m overweight, and yes, it still hurts to admit it. No, I don’t need Mister-I’ll-see-you-when-I-see-you to tell me bad news, yet, here I continue to sit in the appropriately named waiting room.

Just as I’m getting angry for not having enough up-to-date magazines to steal, an overly friendly nurse motions me towards another room. I nervously weigh in.

I’m stuffing old magazines into my purse when the doctor comes in—frowning. What’s his freaking problem? I was here on time. It seems I’ve lost 1.2 pounds since starting this blog, but I still weigh three pounds more than I did six months ago.

What the French? Did I just wait nearly an hour to hear that? I definitely should have taken more magazines.

 

Yes, Virginia. I ain’t ‘bout this life, either…

My sister Danielle is a long-time teacher and part-time assistant principal in Indiana.  She’s great at both. Being a principal at an elementary school is trying for my tender-hearted sibling, and yesterday was particularly trying.

While disciplining two little girls for fighting, one little Mike Tyson-wannabe taunted my sister with, “You ain’t gonna do nothing. You ain’t ‘bout that life.”  While my sister’s brain screamed, “aren’t,” she willed away her inner grammar Nazi and marched Mike Tyson, Jr. to her office.

Yep, it’s been a trying five days in America—bombings in Boston… thunderous explosion in Texas… street-smart little girl in Indiana. The Onion said it best—we Americans have reached our weekly quota for carnage, misery, confusion, heartbreak, and rage. I know I have.  

In his prime, Tyson could TKO an opponent in 91 seconds. Spinks, Bruno and Holmes walked (or were carried) away with a bevy of bruises and missing teeth courtesy of the former undisputed heavyweight champion.  

Bloody and bruised—that’s how I feel. No, I ain’t ‘bout this life today. Oh well, at least I didn’t bury my worry in food, and my sister didn’t lose an ear.  

Riding the bus with the guy in green polka dot boxers…

About a year or two ago, the University of Mississippi launched a park-and-ride system. It’s simple: park your car and ride to work on the bus. Today, a young graduate student hopped on the bus. His smile-glowing, growing and infectious.

Student: Why didn’t you walk to work?

Me (huge stupid smile): Huh?

Student: Those are great walking shoes. Too hot for ya?

No, it’s not too hot to walk today. But, it seems I’m too lazy. I live 15 minutes from campus. Am I allergic to walking to and from work?

I don’t understand me some days (well, most days). I speed walk nearly every evening after work for 45 to 60 minutes. Yet, I find it abhorrent to take a leisurely walk to work.  

Me: Why are you so damn happy?

Student (fanning a stack of paper): Finished my thesis. 80 pages.  Can’t wait to walk across stage.

Me: But not in those pants?

Student (still smiling): Huh?

Me: I can see your underwear, (long pause), green polka dots, right?

Student (blushing): I should probably go home, huh?

Yep, I should probably walk to work.

Xanax or ice cream for emotional eating…

Today one of my good friends lost his job. I’m upset, but mostly I’m scared because that could be me. I can’t cry, scream or yell out my frustration. Well, I could, but I’m pretty sure someone will call UPD on me. So, I’ll have to wait until the end of the day to have a much-deserved mental breakdown.  

According to a Mayoclinic.com, cravings sometimes hit at your lowest moment. That explains why I want donuts when I’m scared or lonely. But, why do I want ice cream at the end of the day? It’s simple. I’m an emotional eater.

Emotional eaters, like me, eat to suppress or soothe. It doesn’t matter if the emotions are negative, such as stress, anger and sadness, or positive, such as happy and excited. A neutral emotion, say boredom, makes me want to eat too.

So, I started a food journal to curb my emotional eating. I already discovered I should avoid Wal-Mart when I’m emo. I should probably take a Xanax, but I unfortunately I’m out of those little white pills—again.

The sock monster ate my ice cream…

I’m firmly convinced there is a sock monster living in my house. What else could explain the single sock collection I’ve amassed since moving into my house nine months ago?

While searching for the missing socks under beds, in closets, and in the crevices of those stupid fitted sheets that I can’t fold, I did find ice cream wrappers. Did I really wash a Good Humor wrap?

I could claim the sock monster ate the ice cream, but why lie. The ice cream was darn good, and I figured I needed a reward. I exercised four days last week and lost 1 pound. As I continue to sniff the Downy-scented ice cream wrapper, I wonder why I felt the need to reward myself for losing 1 pound. I ate ice cream and possibly derailed my good intentions yet again. Now I’m angry with myself and want more ice cream. 

Ah ha. I find one of the lost socks in the refrigerator. Really, Deb? I toss the rest of the ice cream into the trash. It’s not a reward, but it is a start.

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