Sorry I haven’t posted in a while!

I was out of town.

Working.

And maybe shopping (a little).

There is an “Outlet Mall” halfway between Austin & San Antonio. We all know that there is rarely anything “outlet” about “outlet malls” but that doesn’t keep me from stopping.

I WISH I had photos of the 100% silk dress I got at Jones of New York for $10! Or the LINED suit — $45! And the white patent leather open toe pumps — $19!

Did I say white? I meant cream. I mean bone.

OK. You caught me. I bought white pumps.

I SWORE up & down I would never buy white pumps. They’re so. . .tacky.

My friend Christy & I used to amuse ourselves for hours by people guessing the profession based on the outfit.

Shapeless grey suit, no makeup & flats? Attorney. Maybe accountant.

Loose t-shirt, broomstick skirt and birkenstocks? Teacher.

Dockers & an oxford? Engineer.

And our favorite? Big hair, black hose, white pumps. RECEPTIONIST!

Now Christy is a stay at home mom. She still looks like a million bucks. And her clothes are very casual. . .but so pulled together.

And I bought a pair of white pumps.

But they’re CUTE pumps.

And I PROMISE not to wear them with black hose.

Dressing Up

Ever the typical American woman, there’s always something to be dissatisfied about my looks.

I’ve come to terms with my size and I hope to speak for others who aren’t here yet. There is something about my appearance that bothers me though. It’s shallow of me. I shouldn’t care. But when it’s time to dress up, look pretty or go out on the town, I admit it still bothers me.

We went to a wedding last night.

I haven’t had a chance to dress up — I mean REALLY dress up — in a long time. So I was excited about getting out the Little Black Dress, doing my hair & makeup & donning sparkly accessories.

But as I dressed, my inadequacy seemed more pronunced than usual.

You see, I am flat.

If I wasn’t a size 24, I’d look like an ironing board. I must be the only size 24 in the world who can get away with a B cup. Hell, my Dad has bigger boobs than I do.

And some outfits — my LBD, for example — look better with cleavage. Sigh. I felt like a gawky adolescent getting ready for her first dance.

After being happily married for almost 18 years and having 3 children, it’s ridiculous to feel inadequate about my figure. No one will be looking at me anyway. So I rallied myself and did what I did when I got ready for my first dance.

I got out a couple of pairs of tube socks.

And I had cleavage at the wedding.

Not all Fat Girls are Self Loathing Hoarders. . .

Yes Jillian Michaels, I am talking to YOU.
I’ve seen the previews for your new show.
I watched your intense kohl-lined eyes framed by perfectly tousled tresses stare into the pink, sweaty & makeup-free face of your “client”. Whatever. I look just like that girl when I work out except I don’t cry like an idiot. When I work out (2 miles yesterday thankyouverymuch!), my hair is back in a chongo (which is South Texican for ponytail. Awesome word, right??), I’m wearing glasses instead of contacts, and my face is bright red.
I watched the blonde, composed and beautifully made up doctor chastise the pink-faced crying girl about her weight. I heard her say something like “If you don’t do something about this, you are going to have to make arrangements for someone else to take care of your kids!” Excuse me? She IS doing something about it. She’s at the doctor. (I’ll rant about doctors and weight loss in a minute).
Then I watched Jillian & her tight abs walk through a very cluttered room, while Pinkface sobs in the background.
That’s the preview.
Can’t wait to see the show.

Know what? I am not going to watch it. And I am going to ask you not to watch it.

Why?
Because as far as I can see, this show is about perpetuating the myth that one can only truly be happy when they are fit, thin and clutter free.
I am sure the pink faced crying girl is going to have a happy ending. I am sure she has real issues. And I know a lot of us feel like you do, Pinky. But you’re not helping us by letting Jillian humiliate you publicly.
When Dr. Model chastises you, you need to look her calmly in the eye and say “I understand there are significant health implications. That’s why I am here. I don’t appreciate your condescending tone. I am not stupid.”
I am sure that Dr. Model doesn’t berate her other clients with chronic health conditions. I am sure her asthma patients aren’t told that they have character issues because of their condition. Does she tell patients with eczema that they need to make arrangements to have someone care for their families? No. She treats them. With respect.
I asked my doctor (who is also beautiful, but not condescending) why she couldn’t treat my weight like she would any other chronic illness. Know why? Insurance. So she sent me to Weight Watchers. The only way my weight can be treated by a physician is if I have gastric bypass surgery.
Is it just me, or is there something horribly wrong with a system that expects for-profit companies to treat an illness, and then when it doesn’t work, they will pay to have a major organ amputated?
I’m not up for gastric bypass — at least not now. But it would be better than having Jillian Michaels humiliate me in front of a TV Audience.

A Lesson from the bible. . ..

I heard this at mass the other day:

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:1-5

So cool, right?? These are the gifts of fat for sure!!

I think it’s gonna be on my dedication page.

Well Meaning People Who Piss Me Off. . .

I don’t know why this bugs me so much, but it does.
I mean RANKLES. Annoys. Irritates. Bothers. Frustrates. Grates, peeves and vexes.
A few times a year, I decide enough is enough and I work on my fitness. I vow to eat better, exercise more and embrace a healthier lifestyle. My goal is health, you understand. If I am a few dress sizes smaller, so be it.
Fitness shows. It shows in the way your clothes fit. It shows in what you eat & drink. It shows in how you feel. It shows.
And when people compliment me on it, I want to scream.
Specifically:
“Oh my God you are getting so skinny!” (I am a size twenty-fucking-two. On what universe is that skinny?)
“You look great! Keep it up!” (Keep it up? If you like someones hair color, would you tell them to keep it up? “Love the blonde, Carmen! Keep it up girl! Don’t let those roots creep back down! Get yourself to the stylist! And don’t forget to condition!!” Seriously? Seriously. Pisses me off.)
“You are so good!” ( Well, fuck you very much. Know what? Fitness is not a moral issue. I am no better than I was 10 lbs ago. Mother Teresa was good. I’m just doing my best.)
And then there are the affiliators. These are the people who want to make sure you know that they understand. They’ve been there. Unless you’ve lived a good part of your life as a size 20 or larger? You haven’t been here. Affiliators say shit like this:
“I just lost 20 lbs — I was disgusting!” ( Pedophiles are disgusting. Fat people are not.)
“What worked for me was I just cut my fruit up as soon as I came home from the grocery store & put it in the fridge, so my snack was all ready.” (The person who makes this comment is always someone who went from a size 6 to a size 4. Always. No wonder I am a size 24. My fucking fruit isn’t cut up.)

“If I need to lose a few lbs, I just don’t eat lunch for a few days.” (That’s my husband. He’s a man. He’s Japanese — well, technically, he’s Okinawan — I mean ethnically he’s Okinawan because he was born in California. But back to the point. Japanese-Okinawan MEN do not have weight problems so shuthefuckup.)
I guess what I am trying to say is: I am going to be exercising. I am modifying my food choices. I am going to look different. If you like it, tell me I look fabulous.
Then shut up.

She kinda looks like you, but. . .

This morning I dropped my little ones off at daycare.

One of the other Moms was having one of those gut wrenching mornings when you have to drop your kid off even though he’s screaming piteously and begging you not to go. (Been there!)

Some of us “seasoned” moms smiled sympathetically as our perfectly content littles trooped to their classrooms. (My 2 year old doesn’t even kiss me goodbye. Now THAT hurts!) We swapped war stories.

Brooke talked about the time her little guy said “Miss Gracie, I wish you were my Mom.”

Anita’s daughter used to throw a fit every time it was time to go home.

As for me, my oldest (now 8) broke my heart when he called Miss Sally “Mama”. What made it worse, I said, was that Miss Sally & I look exactly alike.

Overhearing, my 5 year old looked critically at me & said “She kinda looks like you, but. . . “

But what?! Was he going to say she is skinnier than me? (she’s not). Fatter than me? (she’s not). Prettier than me? (that’s a matter of opinion)

. . .”She kinda looks like you, but her hair isn’t orange.”

My hair isn’t ORANGE. It’s MARIGOLD thankyouverymuch.

It’s funny what kids say.

One of my very favorite stories was when my oldest (the one who called Miss Sally “Mama”) was in kindergarten.

He drew a very detailed picture of our family. He, his dad & little brother all had brown eyes. Mine were drawn with blue ink. His little brother’s diaper was drawn to some detail, and he perfectly captured the curls surrounding his brother’s head. My hair was flipped nicely, and he drew me wearing blue pants. Each leg was drawn individually, and there was lots of space between them.

I said “Honey, I love this drawing. You made me look so pretty!”

“Yeah,” he said, “I don’t know how to draw fat yet.”

Ouch.

Classy & Fabulous

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”

— Coco Chanel

One of the greatest things about the Obesity Epidemic we have in the U.S. is that finally — finally — fashion is catching up with us. I have long held the position that if a size 6 wouldn’t wear it, I won’t wear it.

Once — not too long ago — I needed a basic tank to wear under a blouse. Basic. No lace. No sequins. No embroidery. (Tell me again why clothing manufacturers think that anyone over a size 12 wants to look like a Persian rug?). I truly didn’t care to schlep all the way to the mall. So I popped into a boutique around the corner.

First shop:

“Do you carry plus sizes?”
“Sorry! No, we don’t.” (Then I can’t spend my $$$ here.)

Next shop:

“Do you carry plus sizes?”
“We carry them through our catalogue!” (That helps me not at all.)
Next shop:

“Do you carry plus sizes?”
“No, dear. We only go up to size 12″
Really? Then where do you buy your clothes, Dear?” (Bitch, if you want to get in a pissing contest with me, then you’d better drink more Evian.)

Last shop:

(Slightly desperate tone) “Do you carry plus sizes?”
“Not officially, but what do you need? I am sure we can find something to fit you!”
And THAT is why I love Chico’s.
Thanks to Talbot’s Woman, Macy’s Woman, Cato’s and the Internet, I can generally find cute size 24 clothes. Now, if Maternity Wear manufacturers would get on the bandwagon.

Why is it that they make maternity clothes for 14 year olds, but not for plus sizes?? Because the manufactures think we don’t do it.

Well we do. I did it at least 3 times. (hey — my mom reads this blog). And unlike 14 year olds, many of us are actually prepared to have children, and have set aside money to pay for things like maternity clothes. And, unlike 14 year olds, many of us have jobs. In offices. We need work clothes. (When I was expecting my second son all I could find was these floaty hippy-dippy blouses. Cute, but not very corporate). I’m hoping and praying with all my size 24 heart that I won’t have to shop for maternity clothes again. I’m just saying.

Maternity aside, some manufacturers still have not seen the light. Why on earth would somthing like this be for sale in this day & age?

Don’t tell me it’s for comfort. That what sweatpants are for. These dresses say “Paris Schmaris — I get my fashion inspiration from Samoa!”

Of course, it is possible to go too far the other way. As evidenced by this number from Ruby Rox at Macy’s:



I swear I wore this dress in 1989 at a formal on Catalina Island. I was 23. I was a size 14, not a 24. Somebody threw up all over it (might have been me) and it was hell getting the puke out of all those pouffs.

But these dresses. . . ..

Cute. And Size 24. (Alfani, Michael Kors and DKNYC all at Macy’s!)

Classy and Fabulous.

Today’s Gift: Tenacity

For some reason, I hate to be told I can’t do something.

It’s childish, really.

But it has worked to my advantage.

My mom used to tell me “not to feel bad” if I tried something & failed. “Don’t feel bad if you don’t get picked for the team”, “Don’t feel bad if you don’t get asked to the dance”, “Don’t feel bad if you don’t win the election”. . . .When I tried & failed, she usually would say “You didn’t want to do that anyway”, or “He’ll never amount to anything anyway”, or “They are all stuck up.”

But when I tried & succeeded, she was always excited . . . . and surprised.

Because Mom thought that fat girls couldn’t do everything thin girls could do. She never said so, and I am sure she would deny it even now. My mom loves me. When I hurt, she hurt. It’s not that she didn’t believe in me, she was just trying to spare me pain & humiliation.

But for some reason, pain & humiliation never bothered me much. I guess I was used to it.

I knew I would never get anywhere by relying on my looks, my brains, or my connections. I’m attractive, but not beautiful; bright, but not brilliant; and I’m not exactly an A-lister.

But I’m funny. And I don’t give up.

One of my favorite quotes is something I found in a sales journal years ago:

Don’t Quit.
Is that what you want to do? Quit?
It takes no talent, it takes no guts.
It is exactly what your adversaries want you to do.
So get your facts straight.
Know what you are talking about.
And keep going.

I don’t know who wrote it, but I have never forgotten it.

My other favorite quote is from Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

So, I don’t quit.

When I was 16, I worked for Osco Drugs. It was supposed to be a great job. I made more than minimum wage, I was inside, didn’t have to mop floors or serve food. But I hated that job. The management was vile. There was one little man who made it his personal mission to belittle & insult the teenages who worked there.

I hated it so much, that I used to wish I’d get hit by a car on my way to work so I wouldn’t have to go in. (psycho, right?). For some reason, I felt I couldn’t quit until I worked there at least six months.

As soon as I hit six months, I quit and went to work at Showbiz Pizza Place. (It was a precursor to Chuck E. Cheese). I worked at Showbiz for about 3 years, making pizzas, mopping floors, dressing up like Billy Bob bear for the birthday parties.

It was WAY better than working at Osco.