Tag Archives: diet & exercise

Lucky ’13

I’ve totally been waiting for the longest time to post this.

There were plenty of ups and downs in 2013. The most down was probably the idiocy that was my brief time in “fashion” and the fact that I now know that someone as hideous as The Beast exists in this world.

But there were more ups than downs, in the end. For starters, these guys:


Looking all cute on Christmas…


And giving the hugs…

boys in ties

And wearing ties!

Then there was the joy of watching my husband cry in public, AGAIN:


And he touched it too!!!

marney jim cup

Lucky Banana even got to go to opening night.

marney and lb

The year 2013 was also the comeback of LASERS:

00elflasers 003 012

And of course, Rob Ford.


Thank you, Canada!

But the thing that I really like to show off about good old 2013, was the difference from beginning to end. On Jan. 1, 2013, I came home after a trip to Ireland. After that trip, at 5’4″ tall, I was officially 193 pounds, and apparently, no one told me that my clothes did not fit.

On Dec. 31, 2013, I am 150 pounds.

marney green sweater

See what I mean about the clothes? They couldn’t tell me that didn’t fit? Thanks, sisterhood, you jerks.

I think my ability to take a selfie has also improved, if you ask me. I’m pretty totes adorbs. I think that sweater is actually too big now.

You know, according to my BMI, I am still overweight. But I’d like to give a good old fashioned FU to the BMI. I’m not so fatty these days. Let’s try to keep it that way for 2014 — the year I turn 40!


Hopefully my next Indi Mini-Marathon won’t be so plump.

Happy New Year, Y’all!

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Born to run…

A few weeks ago I went out for an 8 mile run. I was ill prepared and not thinking I was going to make it. But, turns out, I did GREAT. I wouldn’t so much call it a run, or even a jog, but maybe a trot. A jaunt, if you will. I was kicking it. Man, was I in a good mood when I got back.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am a runner. I am not a small woman. In fact, the closer I get to 40, the wider my butt gets. And my waist. And my butt. But still, this is something I do. And I ain’t lying, yo. Check me out:


My medal from my half marathon last fall.


My first Mudathlon.


My second Mudathlon.


Me rocking some underboob sweat after a 10-mile.


Me looking cute as Jim sucks in and Laura inexplicably pretends her banana is a phone.


Look, here’s me running the in the outfield after a Joliet Slammers game in a skirt!


In a few days, I am running once again. Jim and are will be joining a group of friends to run a half marathon in Indianapolis. I won’t lie, my knee is kinda tweaked and I am afraid that I that I will slow all my friends down. But I have had a couple of really good long runs and I feel pretty good about it.

But back to that day when I finished my 8 mile run. I got home from this run right about the time that Hank was getting home from school, and I was all *high five* and *fist bump* and *slap my butt* only that part I did myself because gross, I’m not going to have my kid slap my big old butt.

When I came home, however, I checked my phone and saw a text about the Boston Marathon. “What kind of asshole bombs a marathon?” my sister wrote.

So I snapped on the TV. Sure enough, some asshole bombed the Boston Marathon.

I am not afraid to run the half marathon in Indianapolis. But honestly, I’m kind of pissed. Everyone knows that you have to work really hard to get in shape. But sometimes, even the fittest of the fit, even they can’t run.

It’s true. Running isn’t just for people who are perfectly physically fit. I think I am proof of that.  I’ve got a big butt and I cannot lie. I am a good 40+ pounds overweight. But I am a runner.

It’s this sport that is about much more than your footstrike and speed. I hit a 12-minute mile and I feel like Speedy Gonzalez only less animated and racist. It’s a sport that is far more about your ability to endure than your ability to hurry it up. You don’t need to be have a specialized skill, you just need momentum and stamina.

Nobody runs for the fame of it. I mean, name a famous marathoner. I am sure they exist, but if it’s not track and field at the Olympics (and seriously, who watches the “field” portion? Javelin is ZERO fun when no one is really at risk of being impaled), then no one is watching. And even then it’s just for the chance to yell USA USA and hope that this run will get you a free Big Mac.

Runners are all a little bit like Forrest Gump. We’re not going anywhere, we just felt like running.

Who the hell bombs those people?

I mean, it’s not like there is a group of athletes out there who deserve that more. But runners only run to run. Sure, the super top guys are sponsored and what not. But for the rest of them — the ones who are finishing 26.2 at the 4-hour mark — it’s just for their spiffy medal and a technical t-shirt that rides up funny and a photo that they have to pay $30 to get a copy of. It’s just to say, hey, I ran a marathon!

Runners are pretty selfless athletes. They see a goal, and it’s really far away, and they run to it. That’s all.

I think a lot of the runners this weekend will be doing it “in memory” of the victims. But not me, not so much. I am not running to honor them as victims. I am running to honor them as runners, and families of runners, and friends of runners. I am running to honor myself as a runner, and my own friends. I am running because I can. Because I am a runner.


I am a runner.

Wish us luck!


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See you in September…

If you blinked you missed it. It’s already a day until October! Holy crap!

I’ve mentioned before my true and utter love of any and all things summer, and how fall might as well be renamed “crush” for the way that it depresses my spirits and horrifies me worse than the time I walked into my parent’s bedroom at an inopportune time. I  hate cold weather. I hate it. With a passion. My friends on the face page who live in Florida and Texas are all like “OH MY GOD Y’ALL IT IS SO HOT” and I would like to punch them in the groins.

I’ve made several attempts to savor what it left of the warm weather, but I cannot help the fact that the stars are clearly facing the wrong direction and I can envision the snow piled up all over the sidewalks. I HATE WINTER.

But I have made the best of September I think. It started like this:

That is me in the grey shirt in the center there. What am I doing you ask? Well, I am completing a half-marathon, that is what I am doing! Yes, I started September by running 13.1 miles. ON PURPOSE.

I’ll have you know that this run (well, trot) was not just about proving to myself that I could do it. I decided to make this run after Brendan killed himself, kind of as a tribute to him, but also to really challenge myself and try and see what I could make my body do. And it does not do it fast, but my body sure can push itself. I’d like to think it was a nice tribute to Brendan, even though I was all alone. Although I suppose if there is a heaven, and he was up there watching me do that, he probably thought, “what the hell are you doing?” No one was even chasing me.

But the running bug may be spreading:

If we don’t watch ourselves, we’ll stop being fatties any day now!

Starting off the month with a 13 mile jaunt makes the start of fall just a little better. Here are some of the things I have learned throughout the month:

  • Back to school rocks. I have not worked my way up to walking around the house naked yet, but I do bask in the quiet.
  • School band sounds super exciting. Until you realize the instrument your kid wants is $900. He better be gifted.
  • If you let your friends know that you are fashion stupid, they will turn into Cher and Dion from Clueless and you get to be Brittany Murphy (the alive version of her) and try on gobs of clothes. And even if you don’t totally love that, playing dress up is always fun.
  • When in doubt on your husband’s birthday, a t-shirt featuring Darth Vader on a motorcycle is a sure bet as a present.
  • High school football is fun, even if you feel a little like a creeper at the game since you have no high school aged children.
  • College football is better, because you can daydream about what those boys are capable of doing without truly be a creeper, as they are of age.
  • Fall smells pretty.

Now let’s get on with October. I’ve got another 10-mile run coming up, and have to build up my snow shoveling muscles. Summer will be back before we know it!

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Things that make me go eeeeewwwweee…

As I may or may not have mentioned before, I am a total fatty.

Big fat fatty.

Okay, maybe it’s possible that while I am not anywhere close to slim, I’m also not anywhere close to the ginormous beast that I think I am. I’m overweight, but not obese (technically). I am also terribly fit. I lift and “jog” on the treadmill and haven’t done much Zumba since those dirty bastards at LA Fitness dropped the class, but  do have Zumba for Wii. Which, by the way, is quite fun but not the same as super cute Stacey the Zumba instructor and her step-tap routines to songs like “Single Ladies” and “Solo” and my personal favorite, “Sexy Chick.” I mean seriously, I have “Danza Kudro” on my MP3 player, and I don’t even know what language that is, let alone what it means. I think it’s Spanish, but I’m not even sure about that. It doesn’t help that he sings “Oy oy oy,” prompting me to think it could be Hebrew. Totally awesome Zumba dancing Hebrew! See, Zumba at home is not quite the same. But, I do work out quite a bit and I’m well aware that I need to better control my eating if I really want to drop the weight.

But those work outs come with a serious down side. And it’s the locker room.

For real, naked locker room wenches of the world, WHAT THE HELL?

This is my biggest issue with locker room nakedness: For whatever reason, women (and presumably, men) are under the impression that when they are in the locker room (or the more fashionably named “dressing room”) they are somehow magically transported to their own bedrooms. Walking around whilst naked nude, hands-up while blow drying hair swaying, stretch-marked boobies in the sauna, shower curtain ajar while pits are throughly cleaned, showing off that disastrous tattoo, bending over without proper undergarments — GROSS.

Here’s the thing: locker rooms are PUBLIC. Sure, they are segregated by gender. Sure, they are private in the sense that they are sectioned off from the rest of the gym. But they are still PUBLIC. Just like public bathrooms are public. Look, it even has he name PUBLIC in it. Perhaps it’s the closeness of the word public to pubic that distracts people. But when you remove your over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder and let those girls fly, here’s the thing: I CAN SEE YOUR BOOBS. And you know what? I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOUR BOOBS.

You know what I don’t want to see even more than I don’t want to see your boobs? Your pubic hair. Or your butt crack . Or any body part that might prompt grammar check to ask if you meant “Libya” or “Volvo.” I don’t want to see your junk!

What is up with this? What prompts these women to decide that heck, there’s no men around, so I might as well get naked? I mean, I understand being in your underwear. That’s pretty understandable as far as locker room standards. After all, you have to change your clothes sometimes and it’s clearly a bit more comfortable that if you have to show people yourself in your bra, those people are also women. But someone has GOT to explain to me the naked part. I mean, if the local grocery store had a “ladies only” day, would women suddenly start shopping all nude like? Is there no dress code at Curves or Women’s Workout World because they are women-only establishments, hence it’s boobs out 24/7? Was I doing something wrong all those years when I had female roommates and we WORE CLOTHES. I mean, like, every day, totally dressed, no matter how often the neighborhood teenagers told us we were fat lesbian whores (we were NOT fat, by the way).

Look, ladies, here’s the thing. If you toss your goods out, I’m going to stare at them. No because I’m one of the gays. But because they are RIGHT THERE. If you are shaking your little butt out in the open, I’m going to glance while thinking, “man, where does she SIT? She has no padding!” And if you are going to walk around showing off the patch of fur that God gave you (although he apparently forgot to give you the ability to use a razor), then you better believe I am going to glance at the goodies, if for no other reason than to hope you see me look at your vajayjay in horror and think to COVER IT UP.

Maybe I am looking at this all wrong. I mean, when I was 19, I decided to get a butterfly tattoo on my awesomely flat rock hard abs. And two pregnancies and 50 pounds later, that butterfly is a nearly indistinguishable moth. And let’s not forget, I’ve had two c-sections. Maybe I should be the one to start walking around with my kitty uncovered.

That will teach them.


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My, my, how the time flies

I was just saying to Jim last night, you know, I haven’t written on my blog in a week or so…

Try a month almost! How you people have survived without my wit and energy and the overall blessing I bestow upon your lives is beyond me.

I’ve been busy.

Ok, I am lying.

I’ve been lazy.

But not just a lazy blogger. A lazy EVERYTHING.

I’ve said it before, but I love summer. I love it love it love it. And as I do every year, I am in a total funk now that the realization has hit me that it is completely and utterly over. That even on the rare days that are hanging on at 75 and even 80 degrees, I need an extra blanket at night already and I’m already thinking, “meh, why bother” when I consider shaving my legs. It’s beautiful and pretty out and it smells good and the kids are irritating the hell out of me with their screaming playing nicely in the backyard. It doesn’t matter that I still have a tan. It’ll snow soon enough. Bleh.

My funk is affecting me in different ways. First, I am bitchy. Seriously, I just told Hank to stop laughing so loud.

I am also exhausted for no good reason. Last spring, Jim and I started hitting the gym often, keeping an eye on what we shoveled in our pie holes, flexing for no good reason. And 25 pounds practically washed right away. Then the awesomeness that is summer showed up and, in happy style, ruined our efforts. It wasn’t just the hot dogs and potato salad. It was the beer… and take out… and beer… and Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream (the BEST)… and beer… Long story short, that 25 pound weight loss was quickly reduced to a 15 pound weight loss. And my desire to lift and jog and Zumba those pounds back off is completely and utterly gone. Which, of course, is a total catch-22. I feel too tired and run down to exercise, and I am tired and run down because I am not exercising enough.

I did do a 5K:

How freaking cute are we? All in our pink and no make-up and no sleep at the ass crack of dawn all for boobs… in OMAHA.

(By the way, extra thanks to my awesome relatives Judy, Pete, Amy, Carrie and Ellen, plus one Mrs. Thomas and one unborn fetus named Finnbar, all of whom sponsored me by donating to the Komen foundation! You guys are AWESOME!)

So as big and fatty fat fat as I feel (especially standing next to Tara, why do I let her stand there? You know I could hip check her skinny butt right out of the frame), I had no problem whatsoever running the 5K, although I was slow as molasses. I finished in 37:44, rocking it at a super speedy 12:09 average mile. Placed 626 out of 686 runners (there were about 19,000 more people there just walking). That’s right, I run just slightly faster than all my dead relatives. Of course, my slow pace only fuels my irritation at my weight struggles, because I feel certain I could have kept it up and run that 5K five more times and been fine. Fat, but fine.

I mean sure, the Runza I ate didn’t help my weight-loss quest. But it’s Omaha for Christ’s sake. Visiting Omaha without eating a Runza is like driving through Detroit without stopping to feel superior to everyone. It’s just not done.

I suppose I am not totally exhausted for no good reason. I am, as usual, having a hard time sleeping again (thanks for passing that on, Dad). I’ve decided to deal with insomnia by medicating myself with watered-down beer. And when that doesn’t work, super lame OTC sleeping pills. I suppose when I am out, I am OUT. Jim could probably violate me however he chooses at that point. What if he wasn’t snoring away himself. But even my deepest slumber tends to only last three hours or so. If I slept for more than 90 minutes the evening before that photo above was taken, I would be shocked.

Anyway, add together the end of summer and my lack of discipline in the food department and my weight struggles and my trouble sleeping and my crabbiness and you have one big funk. And I am swimming in it. It’s a funk big enough that I even felt guilt when the devil dog next door finally got put down. It’s a funk that makes me not want to sit and write when it’s one of the things that I literally love to do. It’s a funk that makes me blow off Zumba even though it is ridiculously fun. It’s a funk that makes me want to go to McDonald’s right this very second for a two-cheeseburger meal… so good.

So here’s to a nice fall and a quick holiday and a kick-ass birthday and a fast return to spring. I need the time to fly so I can have my summer back. And shake my funk.


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Rivalry, schmilvary

So, the Cubs and Sox are playing this weekend in the second installment of this year’s big crosstown classic. Which frankly, lost all its allure (in my opinion) when interleague play started. Back in the day, when it was just a single game that they played for the fans on an off day for both teams, that was good stuff. I had my Chicago Tribune issued poster with caricatures of Jim Frey and Tony LaRussa hanging on my closet door for much of my childhood.

Now, it’s even been named. This year, the winner gets…

wait for it…

The BP Cup!

No shit.

My brother promptly announced that while the cup itself is lovely, it leaks. He also thinks it should be handed to the loser, not the winner. Too bad, sucker, the Sox have already embarrassed the ever-living pants out of the Cubs, 4 games. You win! You win! You win! Take your BP Cup and put it in your BP case next to you BP World Series memorabilia from 2005 and celebrate with some of that nasty BP Miller Lite you drink on the South Side. It’s one championship the Cubs are happy to lose! Hoo!

Anyway, I headed to the game with the boys yesterday. Had a great time. The only real entertainment was when Carlos Zambrano had a temper tantrum in the dugout and was told to go home, you know, after giving up four runs in the first (final score 6-0 Sox). We had a pretty good view from our seats. Oh, I was so proud to be a Cubs fan at Comiskey U.S. Cellular Field. Those Ricketts kids are turning this team around!!! Thanks Omaha!

But there was one awesome highlight of the game. Check it out:

My sister Laura snapped this photo of me and the boys after the game. Sure, George looks like a total goober. But look how skinny I look! And no snide comments from those of you who are like, ummm, sure you look skinny, in you know, a total fatty type of way. Shut up, I look good!

Well worth the loss, Cubs! I’m ready for my BP Mother of the Year Award!


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Drinking problem

My husband and I have issues.

Over the past few months, we have been working super hard to drop our bear blubber. Because 1) we are simply too fat and 2) we are not actually bears who need to stockpile on a few layers of fat to make it through hibernation season. Hell, the fact is, all this extra cushion does NOT keep me any warmer in winter, no matter how much I try to use that as justification for the weight of a small child being attached to my ass. It’s kinda why it’s important to put polar bears on the endangered species list. How they do that, stay warm AND not develop diabetes is AMAZING — we need to study that. But that’s a different topic.

So to the gym we go. Or, as we call it, the exercise place. Because Jim is Jim, as opposed to gym, and my Jim-gym jokes get very tiring for him, and he began calling it “the exercise place” and he was relentless and I finally gave in. We lift three times a week, we do cardio at least four times a week. Sometimes we play racquetball and dammit is that funny. For real. Drop by the gym with your video camera and Bob Saget will be handing you a $10,000 check before you know it, it’s that entertaining. I once drilled the man right in the ear hole, which was almost as funny as the time I nailed myself in the face.

The result of this has been good. We generally watch what we eat, and we’re not over exercising, so the weight is coming off slowly but surely. Since Christmas, we have both dropped something in the area of 20 pounds. Yeeeee-hoooo! That is nice to see when you strip down completely naked because surely your clothes weight double-digits and  get on the scale.

But we all have our guilty pleasures. We all need our guilty pleasures. And for me and Mr. Wonderful, ours comes in liquid form:

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Time to make the donuts.

I use this image because Homer Simpson truly expresses how the fatty within emerges when Jim and I get our hands on a big, fat, delicious cup o’ Dunkin. Large. 1 cream. 2 Splenda. Oh. My. God.

Tonight, I went to the gym for cardio. We usually go together and drop the kids off at the daycare, but we couldn’t do that tonight because George only has one pair of shoes, and they were in the sink. Don’t ask. So I went first, ran for half an hour, then Jim went and did the death machine stair climber. Then, before returning home in time for the Blackhawks game, he stopped at Dunkin. He walked in the door with a cup in each hand and a big old smile on his face, and I kid you not I fell in love with him all over again! Seriously. Forget the selfless way he loves even the crappiest parts of me, or how he has to be reminded that he was not there when Hank was born because he has simply forgotten that he’s not the child’s biological father, or that he is patient even when I fill up his TiVo memory with episodes of “The Ghost Whisperer,” or that he managed to deliver the sweetest and most awkward marriage proposal ever in my parent’s driveway. It’s the Dunkin Donuts coffee in his hands. This is why he is awesome. 

It is truly the strangest thing ever. Tonight I referred to it as our “36-year-old beer,” because apparently we have reached an age where we do NOT grab a beer first thing when getting set to watch the big game. Of course — there IS beer in the fridge, and I’m sure we’ll both down one soon. It’s not like we’ve turned our backs on frothy-brewed deliciousness. But for whatever reason, there is a new liquid we cannot live without. And its name is Dunkin Donuts coffee.

My cup is currently empty. My coffee is in my belly. I might have to go grab my shoes and see if I can make HIM fall in love with ME all over again.


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Dear Creepy Gymnast Girl at LA Fitness,

Hello there. Do you remember me? My name is Marney, and I am the older, fatter girl who was in the trainer room last night. You remember me, right? See, I was on the mat, alternating my reverse crunches with my swissball jackknives. Yeah, I know, it’s funny to watch that. But yes, that was me.

I don’t quite know HOW you could have missed me. There I was, getting ready to do my jackknives, which are hard as hell and yes, I occasionally fall off the ball and make quite the thundering sound when my flab smacks the mat. But I always laugh and get back on. Yet for some reason, and despite the fact that you are no bigger than 4-feet tall, you felt the need to come to that same mat, spread your legs in a T-split, and begin to bounce. ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY. You literally put your foot directly in front of me, even though my ginormous mass was only taking the spot of ONE person. Yet you were taking the place of 4 people.

Remember what I did? How I almost rolled right over your foot. That was fun for me. You kind of got the picture — you moved to the other mat, but continued to do your bizarre bouncy splits routine. Side splits. Front splits. Side splits. Front splits. Over and over. You know what? While I was back doing reverse crunches, and my butt was pointed at you, I ALMOST squeaked out a fart to get you to go away. But I didn’t. I should have, then maybe you would have stopped what I can only describe as acrobatic pornography. At one point, you began to thrust.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I too know how much fun it can be to grab the attention of the male species at the gym. I have, from time to time, realized that a young handsome meathead was staring at my vast chest, and purposely dipped just a little further over during my deadlifts. Seriously, especially when he is like, 22. Sure, maybe he has a Mommy complex, but still, it’s fun to be ogled, even though the feminist hiding in the back of my head is shouting STOP IT! I read Cosmo. I get it.

Remember when I left the mats? I went upstairs to run on the treadmill. I ran for 30 minutes. And when I was done, and I came back down the stairs, there you were, still on the mats, still in the splits. You know what? We get it. You are super flexible. You can jump from standing into a T-split. You know what? Dudes don’t dig that. Do you think they want you to stand over them and do that? You will snap their junk right off, sister! Stop it already.

Then I went into the sauna. I admit, I have no idea what the sauna is supposed to do. I just like the feeling of a good warm sweat. Also, I was the only one in there, which meant that I could sing along with the array of songs stacked on my MP3 player — Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Trisha Yearwood, all mashed together. Though I really belted it out to “Walking in Memphis,” the Marc Cohn version, not that crappy country release. I emerged 15 minutes later, and there you were. In the locker room. With one leg up on the counter in a display of flexibility. You were talking on your phone. Apparently, the person you were talking with really, really wanted to hear you sing the dance-mix version of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” which was playing over the gym’s speakers. Because you sure did sing it loud. Into your phone. While doing the splits on the makeup counter.

I noticed at this point that you caught my eye. I’m sorry, you were right. I was staring at you. More specifically, I was trying to will you to shut the hell up and leave. It didn’t work.

Well, creepy gymnast girl at LA Fitness, I hope you are feeling good and limber this morning, I don’t really know how you could feel anything else. You sure are stretchy. But I do hope that I don’t have to deal with your flexing and thrusting again anytime soon. My husband was not there with me, but he would have told you to move your skinny ass out of his space. For some reason, he’s not shy at the gym. I just hope I get skinny and awesomely buff soon, because I’m not sure I can take that shit ever again.

Thanks for your time,



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Keeping with my juvenile theme, I am beginning to wonder two things: 1) How is it that I managed to find a husband who is such a good fit for me, and 2) When are we going to hell, because we are so going there.

Tonight I went to the gym for a little weight lifting and high intensity intervals, though you would never guess it from the size of my rear and my extra cushiony spare tire. In my defense, this is Illinois, and it gets cold here in the winter, so I really need the extra blubber. It’s a survival mechanism.

Anyway, I usually go with Jim to the gym. Just to go off topic for a moment, I love that Jim and gym are homonyms, and I play it up often. I call his gym bag his “you bag.” I say, “I need to go to the ‘you’ and exercise” and “I need a new pair of ‘you’ shoes.” God forbid he ask me where his gym bag is, because the answer is, “All your bags are Jim bags.” Being 35 is no excuse to stop being immature.

ANYWAY, I usually go with Jim to the gym. But tonight I had to go alone. And in my solitude, I realized that I enjoy working out with him for many reasons, not the least of which is because it is far easier to make fun of people with him than it is alone.

For example, when we are there together, we notice other couples. There is the couple where the man is a lot younger and better looking than the woman who we assume is his wife. Naturally, they are “Disproportionate Couple.” There’s the trainer who himself is quite portly, AKA, “Fun Fat Trainer.” There’s the racquetball guy who wears what appears to be professional racquetball attire, or, as we call him, “Professional Pants Guy.” His partner looks at me a lot (I had Jim check him out checking me out to make sure I wasn’t just seeing things. He said for sure he was checking me out. He likes a little meat on his ladies, it appears). Unfortunately, he has kind of a skeevy vibe, hence his nickname, “Serial Killer.”

There’s the guy who looks like the character of John Locke from “Lost.” We just call him “John Locke.”

Our favorite is the couple who come in matching outfits. They are outrageously good-looking, bodies to envy, dazzling looks, great hair even while sweating. Once, when he smiled, I swear his teeth twinkled. Like us, they freely give the evil eye to pretty much everyone who walks past. Unlike us, they don’t even make an attempt to hide it. They are the best looking people there, and they know it. So naturally, we call them, “A Couple of A-Holes.”

So there I was tonight, longing for my husband’s companionship. Why? Well, tonight I was graced with the trifecta: Shaved Legs Guy in front of me, Velour Pants Guy next to him, and next to me, Steam Engine Guy. I call him that because the weights he lifts are outrageously heavy, and when he exhales, he goes “ppfffffftttt” like a steam engine. His last rep usually has an unbelievably long “pppfffffffffffffffffffftttttttttttttt,” as if he’s just pulled into the station and stopped. It’s everything I have to not start singing the theme from “Thomas the Tank Engine.”

It makes me wonder — how exactly will this come around for me? Because we know that’s where this is headed. You cannot possibly snicker about this many strangers without karma, or fate, or kismet, or whatever you call it, biting you in the rear. The rather large rear, as it is these days. I wonder what these people call me. “Stretch Pants Girl” or “Big Boobs” or “Twisted Nipples” (they are always pointed in different directions, and the gym lights really highlight it) or “Ass Sweat Girl” (wiping off the mat can be embarrassing).

Whatever it is, I totally deserve it. And it won’t stop me from coming up with nick names, especially when “Stupid Bandana Girl” and “Talks on Her Cell Phone” are on bikes RIGHT NEXT to each other. Oh yes, my uppance shall come. I can’t wait.

UPDATE – No sooner had I posted this than did Jim walk through the door. He went to workout later than I did since we couldn’t go together tonight. He looked at me and said, “Well, A Couple of A-Holes were there. So was Do-Rag Guy. And Blue Jeans and Flip Flops Guy was on the stairclimber!”

We are so going to hell.


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The weight of it all

I have a love-hate relationship with my bod. Mostly, I love to hate it.

I am not qualified to speak for the majority of women in this town, this state, this country or even this world, but I am going to take a guess that many or even most of us feel this way. We look at a picture of ourselves and think, Sweet Mother of Mercy, where the hell did all that SKIN come from? Lord.

My love-hate relationship with the way I look has kicked into high gear these days. You see, according to  the scale the worst invention ever made, I currently weigh as much as I did in May of 2002. The problem with that? In May of 2002, I was full term pregnant with my first child. God.

Six weeks ago, Jim and I decided to start a weight lifting program. Which is good. But the problem is that to build muscle, you must eat the proper amounts of calories, which means, no deficit. But without a deficit, there is no weight loss. Simple science says to lose weight, calories burned must be higher than calories consumed. And not only have I been mostly even on my burn-consume ratio, but some days, I consume a little too much. Hence, I can now see muscles in my arms and my butt is starting to look better, but my actual WEIGHT suggests I have an 8 pound 3 ounce child in my uterus, which I do not. To sum it up — Ugh.

But the biggest problem, of course, is how this affects my daily life. Take for example, some memories from Lake Jordan (aka, the Happy Place) in Wisconsin this summer:


My sister Carrie took this photo, and it is freaking hilarious. That’s me, reading a smut book called “Goldie Locks and the Behr” to my son Hank (left) and my nephew Danny. The writer named the lead male character “Angus Behr,” probably for the specific reason of giving the book that title. Genius. Look at Hank’s face. LOOK AT HIM. He is absolutely fascinated at this deeply involved piece of American literature. But what did I see when I clicked onto this photo when she put it on the Face Page? My thighs, followed by my stomach roll.

And there’s also this:


This is a photo of grown people having a water fight. That’s Kelly at the left, shooting at Tommy (with the beer), Tim (the headless one) and me. Dudes… LOOK at my shoulders. I’m not even FLEXING. Dare I say it, but those are some sculpted shoulders. But nooooooooooo… all I saw when I spotted this gem was my back fat, my belly fat, my huge ass and those THIGHS again.

The worst offender is this one:


That’s me and my Pops. Isn’t he adorable? I love my Dad. He’s my hero. I want to blow this picture up to poster size and frame it on my living room wall. Dad = awesome. But when I saw this photo, did I think of how good it is? What a sweet and enduring memory it is? How I will be able to hold on to this as a memory of what a ridiculously good time we all had in our Happy Place this summer? No. I saw my big, fat, saggy boobs, trying to wrangle their way out of the picture and into the water.

What the hell? The worst part of it all, is taking a second look… I’m not even that big. I’m overweight. I’m not obese. Well, not yet, anyway.

Now, in my OWN defense, all of these photos involve me and a swimsuit, and it’s difficult to not be overly judgmental of yourself and your bod when wearing what basically amounts to second skin. And this little number is a Sears special, bought more for its ability to hold up my girls (though even in that respect it often fails) than for its high state of modern fashion. It’s a granny suit, frankly. Sure, they tried to make it hip with those sassy pink flowers, but still. There’s no arguing it when you bought the most chic suit available in the women’s section at Sears. I mean, really.

But still, my relationship with my own body is ruining my memories. It’s taking over the way I look at things. I show a picture of a perfectly happy time, and all I see is… fat. And I don’t know how to fix it.

I’m trying, these days, with weights. But let’s say a year from now, assuming I stick to my current program, my body is tighter, more defined. Let’s say I lose 20 or 30 pounds of flab. Then what? Then is it time to attack my stretch marks? Will I hate the size of my butt even if it is firmer? The lines on my face? The grey hair that I have recently embraced, will THAT start to haunt me if I tone up this vessel that carries me around this world? Somebody, for the love of God, tell me WHY? Why am I not good enough for myself?

I suppose that for women, it’s something most of us seek, but few of us ever find the answer.


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