Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Shocking revelation

OK...I know she was joking. But right before I left the house my mother suggested I wear a girdle. ouch. I know I need to lose some weight. But really, a girdle. I guess it is time to face facts. Already unhappy at size 12, I am getting fatter. I must act. Decisively.
I finally got around to watching the Oprah Boot Camp episode (I love TiVo!). No white food? I guess that means grits. What the hell am I going to eat for breakfast? I am guessing more pancakes from Wendy's are out of the question....
Oh woe. To think I was once a size 6 (well, that was ridiculous and I looked like I was about to blow over). It is time to rouse myself out of bed and back down to a size 9...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Health kicked

Since I bought my car in 1999, I've gained twenty pounds. I'm not saying there's a causal relationship; but I exercise less since I've gotten a car. It is also true that since I've gotten a car, I've also worked at a sedentary positions. So I don't get a lot of exercise at work and I don't get much after work.
A friend who's a personal trainer suggests that if I would walk strenuously for one hour per day, I could lose the weight in several weeks time. I got this advice in October. Since then, I have struggled to find a time in my day that I could commit to the hour constitutional.

I tried after work...Well, as soon as fall fell and daylight savings time was over that fell apart. I get home, change clothes, decompress...I'm ready to start walking at 7PM. But now it's dark. At first I ignored my mother's warnings, but there were, in fact, a couple of times I felt unsafe. So that ended the evening walk. Maybe it'll be different when daylight savings time comes back.

I tried during lunch. For many months, I walked at least forty minutes at lunchtime. But I'm sure the meal I consumed made up for the effort. And I was wolfing down my lunch...If it takes twenty minutes to get seated and twenty mintues to walk back, that leaves twenty minutes to order, eat and pay the check. So I started going to places closer to campus, which meant a shorter walk, and less calories burned.

I tried indoor exercise. Too much furniture, not enough personal space. We have too many couches and cats under foot to make this work.

So that leaves the glaring option of early morning. My alarm clock has been set for 5:45 since spring 2004. I have not yet been able to actually get out of bed until 6:30. I think this is psychological issues with other things, but the result is that I do not get out of bed and walk for an hour. I have left my exercise clothes out. I have gone to sleep earlier. Nothing has countered this near paralytic sensation I get every weekday morning that I come to consciousness and contemplate having to go to work. Exercise has become a casualty.

While I grapple with the issue of exercise, knowing intellectually that the morning walk is the clear solution and even having experienced the good post-exercise feeling, I have turned my attention to my diet.

This morning I bought a fruit bowl at Wendy's. For a ridiculously steep price, I got a spread of fresh fruit with a dip cup of flavored, sweetened yogurt. That would have been a wonderful, healthy shot...except the fruit bowl is chaser for the stack of pancakes I had first. I have become a flavor junkie. When I am anxious, I need to taste something and that has led to poor nutrition and overeating. A parallel problem is that even though I enjoy healthy food, I am not stocking it at home. So when I get these bouts, I am eating what my parents have which is not necessarily healthy.

My point? I don't know. I ramble. I do know I need to get a grip on my eating and my exercise. Riding the bus this week has been enlightening. My biggest issue has been how time-ineffective it has been. For example, it would take me two hours each way to commute to work. That is unacceptable. Wasted time in my opinion. Because you can't multi-task. Monday evening I was lucky to wrangle a seat at all and for the entire ride a very pretty, but ripe-smelling young lady has lodged herself so closely against me that I could hardly think straight much less read. Yesterday, I did manage to read part of an article but I was constantly distracted by people yelling into their cellphones and some young man who tapped me on the shoulder to compliment me on my hair--whatever.

So I'm flabby and frustrated. I saw a woman on television who is my height and weight. I also used my videocamera to take an objective look at myself. I am not as fat as I feel. I am below my healthy BMI and understand that the weight I consider ideal other people think is 'skinny' for me. What is the case is that I even if my weight is not a health issue, I am not as fit as I could or want to be. And explanations be damned, I have to do something about that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Follow-up and new chat--Mark Burnett...

So I promised the fur would fly, so of course it didn't. When I came in for those meetings yesterday, I was prepared to leave my job. That bode well for me in a number of ways. Most important, I did not compromise and leave the table feeling like I hadn't fairly represented myself or challenged issues that were relevant for me. I still think growing older is growing into oneself. For me that means embracing rather than suppressing myself and my sensibilities.

Today's topic: I read in the New York Times that one of the contestant's in upcoming boxing reality show The Contender has committed suicide. Producer Mark Burnett has promised that the death of Najai Turpin will not affect the content of the show and that he will not edit the show in anyway to reflect the occurrence. *I am paraphrasing, not intentionally plagiarizing the NYT. So if my memory is working today, cut me some slack.* Commentators are already speculating about the relevance of Turpin being African American to this brou-haha.

First, condolences to Turpin's family. According to the article he has a very young daughter and I'm sure that he was very driven by his willingness to participate in the contest which provided one million dollars for the winning boxer. But my focus is not on Turpin, but Mark Burnett...

This season's Apprentice had three African American participants. One has already become the first ever contestant to quit, and the two remaining get less screen time and development than their counterparts. My opinion is that since neither of the two appear to fit an obvious racial stereotype, it has been difficult for the editors to carve a storyline around them.

On the first season, America loved (and apparently continues when they remember) to hate Omarosa. Even black media outlets, decried Omarosa's treachery and called her a black bitch for letting her 'brother' Kwame down in the clutch. White america hated Omarosa long before she left Kwame hanging. She was haughty and detached...who wouldn't dislike her. While her white female counterparts fought and whined, Omarosa refused to compliment their mini-skirts, told them to take their hands off her and generally refused to be like the self-effacing, subordinate black women they usually interacted with...She didn't want to be friends with them and she wanted to win. How un-Oprah-like! Black women are friendly and helpful at work; they make less money, don't get promoted, and even when they boss people around no one gets mad because they never get promoted to positions of authority...That damn Omarosa. For the second season, the new girls got together and booted Stacie J out because they were 'afraid' she was crazy and might hurt herself or them....Black women ARE scary! Kwame was a great guy, he was quiet and friendly and finished second. But that was Omarosa's fault...of course he wasn't passed over for the job because Trump didn't recognize his qualifications.

And Survivor is no better...the first season featured a black man from New Jersey who was constantly edited in being nothing other than shiftless...laying in the hammock so much he such have developed a bedsore and seemingly contributing absolutely nothing to his team by way of strategy or effort. He was all potential energy, spring up every now and then to drag something from here to there. Another season featuring a sassy, finger-waving, neck-rolling body builder. And, of course, there's Vecepia who won a million by being meek. There's your reward.

So that's how black people fare on Mark Burnett shows. They unstable, disposable, ultimately aberrational creatures. We can't complain they aren't being represented, and ol' Mark says he's not sure if he's responsible for how they get represented...

I wonder what the Contender will be like and how Najai Turpin has been depicted...

Monday, February 14, 2005


This is going to be a two post day. After fretting with a friend over an article I saw about a guy losing his job for blogging about it--getting dooced--I am going to risk exactly that. In about four hours, I am going to be ready to blow. I have back-to-back meetings about my job. More later..............

Saturday, February 12, 2005

I've already noted that blogs don't write themselves and that I need a damn computer so I can update more frequently. So no more about that.

So on to other topics...

I've been in this reflective mode about my life for about ever, but especially the past three years. I'm starting to feel pretty enlightened. On the one hand, I am really satisfied that I reordered my priorities and gave up a career that was taking me away from the values and experiences I really want my life to be about. On the other, I've replaced that career path with several babysteps toward I'm not sure where. I actually have a pretty cool idea of what I'd like to do, careerwise, but I've been much too self-deprecating to believe I could pursue it. Instead I've been making lateral moves and painfully small steps forward. I've also literally built a coccoon around myself (must lose twenty pounds). Of course, that's just how it is. As I've already covered, I'm done with the pity parties and weeping jags. I'm actually feeling pretty good (aside from some wicked bouts with PMS...another day). These days I'm actually feeling like I'm ready to spread out and deal with whatever may come my way.

I was talking with a friend about a lecture Cornel West gave where he mentioned the pain of living an examined life. I used to marvel at how people could go along without having invested any thought into who they were or where their lives were headed. Then I spent a time wishing I could be among them. Examination in and of itself does not lead to enlightment or satisfaction. Sometimes the best you can achieve is acceptance. What I've realized is that my challenge is to become more like myself and instead of changing myself to suit life, to change my life to suit me.
Certainly not original revelations, but I am at a point where I can see past my fears to my own self-interest.

In my youth, I learned by painful experience to consider only myself. Once an adult, I decided that way of being was a survival strategy that had been successful, but at the cost of my isolation from others. Letting others in means risking disappointment and pain, but it also means the possibility of abundance and joy. So it's like Powerball...even if you think the odds suck, you can't win if you don't play.