Just a quick note to follow up on my pie predicament in my previous post. To recap, I was trying to lose 25 pounds by yesterday morning. This is the end of the 16-week program I joined to lose weight and work my way toward a healthier me. Did I think about the fact that this program would end a few days after Thanksgiving? I did not. I am pleased to tell you that I reached my goal weight three days ago! I attribute this achievement to my painful restriction of pie at Thanksgiving dinner. I did it! Oh yes, I have achieved pie domination! I am now a The Dominatrix of Pie.
Thanksgiving dinner was fabulous. It was prepared by a professional chef! It’s good to have someone in the family with such expertise. Or bad…if you are trying to lose weight. It was hard, but I kept to my word and had no seconds. There were only four pies this year, so that was a bit of a break. I gave in to temptation and allowed myself a single bite of each. The pie-makers were happy to see me hovering over their respective pies, and I felt good limiting myself. “Good” might be going too far, “strong” might be a better word. Those pies were not going to stop me from achieving my goals. No siree! I showed them that I could just have a taste and walk away. What do you think about that, pie!?
The idea of a post Thanksgiving day weigh-in wasn’t my idea of a good time. I was a bit fearful as I approached the scale of judgment…how bad would it be? It wasn’t bad! I didn’t gain an ounce. I guess that’s what happens when you bring 3 bottles of wine to a family dinner and don’t drink a drop. My sister-in-law informed me that the two left-over bottles would be opened for Christmas dinner. I don’t intend to drink it then, either. I have goals, damn it!
So, pie isn’t the only thing being dominated. Wine is on notice, too! I’m guessing that last bottle of wine won’t be consumed until New Year’s Eve. Since that is the date of my next colonoscopy, I think I might need a glass of wine that night. I’ll just think of it as fruit juice. Hey, it has grapes in it…don’t judge me! The USDA says you need a minimum of 2 servings of fruit per day. Who am I to question the USDA? My scale might not be happy, but at least my wine consumption will be government approved!
I cannot stress the importance of the support and motivation I received from my friends at Weigh To Be Healthy We started that group when I was midway through this goal of mine and it helped me tremendously as I was nearing the end and questioning whether or not I’d make it. I can’t imagine a more supportive group of people. Feel free to join us if you like, and we’ll support you, too!
In Thanksgivings past I have thoroughly enjoyed whatever food was put before me…often with seconds for the particularly choice bits. Ok, they are ALL particularly choice bits, and that’s the problem. Without thinking, I made a very ill-timed decision and I am now facing the consequences. I joined a ‘lose weight and get healthy’ program and I set my goal to lose 25 pounds in 16 weeks. The catch is that my 16 weeks are up on Sunday and I haven’t quite met my goal, yet. My freaking goal is due three days after Thanksgiving!!! You will just have to imagine me doing facepalms repeatedly…and with great force.
This year I vowed I would be more restrained. No seconds! No seconds, and no wine. I’m going to eat and drink responsibly. Yup, it’s going to be a sober, seconds-less Thanksgiving. It sure is! But I still have to deal with pies. So many pies…
We are a pie-loving family. Every year at least three people show up with multiple pies. It’s always a pie-palooza. Now it’s one thing if a couple of people bring a pie, but when there are a half dozen pies on the counter, there’s a problem. Then the whole ‘eating responsibly’ idea becomes less of a reality and more of a quickly-forgotten oath. Plus, you can’t have one and not another, otherwise feelings get hurt. That would make for a very unthankful Thanksgiving, and we can’t have that.
How do you say no when a family member is handing you a piece of pie they lovingly created for you? There they are, just waiting for that “mmmmm” sound made only after one has had an extraordinary piece of pie. If they don’t get that sound, their entire pie-making endeavor was for naught, and Thanksgiving has been utterly ruined. We can’t have that, but what to do?
I’ve been pondering this problem and this past week I have been working on plausible excuses for not eating six pieces of pie after Thanksgiving dinner. I will probably have to use the excuse I come up with a number of times so it has to be universally appropriate and consistent…and it has to be true. I won’t lie. These rules have proven to make this pie-avoiding goal difficult. The following are works in progress:
“Oooh, that pie looks wonderful but don’t get too close! I have a tickle in my throat (true) and I don’t want you to catch my cold!”
“I’ve been trying to cut back on sweets (true), but it looks so good…let me have just a sliver” This might work but there is an inherent problem here. It’s almost impossible for me to have “just a sliver” and not want to consume more. I am a woman who has ‘slivered’ a cheesecake to death. There will be no successful slivering of six pies, so this one is out.
“Oh my goodness! So and so was just asking who made this gorgeous pie!” This always leads to the pie-maker heading in the direction of the potential pie-appreciator and thus getting me off the hook. The only snag here is that I can only use this when someone actually does ask who made the pie, otherwise it’s a lie. Lucky for me, everyone in the family is always asking who made what pie, so this one is a contender. Did I mention that we are a pie-loving family?
I could get up and move around with a drink in my hand. It’s hard to eat pie while standing and drinking. But to make this plausible, it would entail talking with someone who is also standing. The real concern here is that the odds are high that the only people standing would be pie-makers…who want me to eat their pie. That would defeat the purpose. I should probably rule this one out.
I could tell them that I’m sharing with Bill, and because he doesn’t indulge in sweets (true!) we’ll only have small pieces. If I had one bite of each, that might work! I would be able to tell everyone exactly what I liked about their pie. Mmmmmm I wouldn’t have the ‘slivering’ problem because there would be another bite coming. And I would come away eating only the equivalent of a single piece of pie because after I eat my one bite of each, I can move away from the table and what’s left on the plate will be Bill’s problem. Even that is more pie than I probably should eat, but we all have to make sacrifices for those we love. Yummy, yummy sacrifices. This idea might be the winner! Maybe I could make it a new tradition. After all, Christmas is right around the corner.
Oh, and if you don’t live in America, just disregard this whole thing. You can be thankful that you aren’t in the middle of our current political maelstrom. Although, if you are from the UK, your situation isn’t too rosy either. Even though you aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, you should have a piece of pie. It’ll make you feel better. I’m more than willing to share.
I promise I’ll get back to regularly scheduled programming (my typical blog posts) soon, but I wanted to post an update on Weigh To Be Healthy. In case you missed it, this is a new health-oriented Facebook group that was created to help us along with a healthy lifestyle. Geez, I hate that word “lifestyle.” It sounds like an animated hair cut. But it does convey the idea that we want make changes in our lives to be healthier longterm.
In this group we support each other as we try to lose weight. Hey, that’s just one of the best ways to improve your health, but it’s more than that. We share healthful information of all kinds. Want to know about cauliflower crust, exercise snacks, and have lots of laughs? Join us and you’ll get all of that, and more.
Becoming healthy is one of my highest priorities. It took me a while to realize that I have only one life to live, and I want to make the most of it. I’m eating healthier food, losing weight, and I’m just feeling better all around. Commitment is a cornerstone of any worthwhile endeavor. Accountability is another. The support I get from Weigh To Be Healthyencourages those things. Plus, it’s just so much easier when you have friends to cheer you on…and have fun doing it!
My guess is that you think being healthy means getting to your goal weigh. Am I right? How many times have you done that and then regained it all and realized you were no better off than you were before? Or worse!
I was always a fat kid. I always thought I was a failure because I could never keep the weight off. I told myself it must be genetic. Believe it or not, I recently had my DNA done, and I really do have a genetic disposition toward weight gain! I was also on an epilepsy drug that made me gain 50 pounds in six months! “There! See!? It’s my DNA and the drugs. It’s not my fault!!!”
I could have given myself those very valid excuses to justify being overweight. I could refute the words of my neurologist: “You just have to eat less.” I had proof that I couldn’t help being fat and unhealthy. I had excuses but I was miserable…and I was mad! I was mad at that neurologist who didn’t understand, and I was mad at myself for thinking I had no control.
So I thought I’d go on another diet. I’d get my weight down. I’d be happy again. Thinking that my weight and happiness went hand in hand made me realize that this struggle is about more than just what my scale told me each morning. This is about becoming and sustaining the ‘me’ I want to be. I know I’m not the only who feels this way, and that’s why I started this group.
So what do you think? Are you ready to be part of a fun group where you can help others with the same struggles you share? Are you looking for some support as you head toward a healthier life? If so, then I am thrilled to invite you to be part of a brand new Facebook group called…
All of us have different ideas on how we want to become healthy, and that makes for great discussions. We’d love to hear yours. Our tag line sums it up beautifully. We are “a support group for the health of it.” Let’s do this together. Let’s figure out a Weigh to be Healthy!
About a week ago I published a post called Why Weight? I lamented that I was in a weight-loss slump and wondered if any of my WordPress friends might be interested in figuring out a way to get together and support each other.
Let me tell you, I didn’t have to wait long for solutions. The very day I published the post, Deb from Being Aunt Debbie offered to set up a Facebook group! Lisa from Lismore Paper sent me an email offering to be part of whatever it was we were going to do. Wow, I really didn’t know where this would go but I had two people willing to go there with me. Now I know how the head lemming must feel!
The name “Why Weight?” was taken, but after a bit of brainstorming “Weigh to be Healthy” was born. Hey, this group could be more than just about losing weight. It could be about health in general! But, for most of us, pursuing health does mean losing weight. The three of us are committed to doing just that. We are all attacking the problem in different ways and that will make for some good discussions as we share experiences in a supportive atmosphere.
So, you may ask yourself, how do I find this group? When can I join? Should I wear a special cape? At least I hope you are asking yourself those things. Ok, maybe not the last one because it’s obvious that the answer is yes. 😉 There will be much merriment and cape-flapping…and you know you don’t want to miss that! Do you want to be a flab-fighting superhero? Do you!? Now is your chance!
Our launch date will be this Sunday and just before that, all three of us will be posting the link and more information on our blogs. Come and join our support group…for the health of it!
I’m in a slump. I see posts here all of the time about a writer’s block, but my slump is different. I’m in a “lifestyle change” slump. Yeah, no one diets anymore, they do the lifestyle change thing. It makes perfect sense. If you go on a diet and get to your goal weight, then great! Woohoo! But then if you go back to your old habits, you will gain it all back…and then some. Sound familiar?
So here I am in the process of lifestyle-changing spectacularly (I wish) and I’ve hit a slump. I’m on a plateau. I’m at a standstill. I ain’t goin’ nowhere, baby! You know what I mean, and some of you have probably experienced it. It’s you lot I am aiming this post at.
If you are svelte and have never had to count calories in your life, you can just stop reading right here while we rounder people all sit back and hate you. “Hate” is a strong word. Perhaps we could just resentfully envy your metabolism and love of exercise or whatever it is that has allowed you to maintain a perfect weight for your height. You know, I could be at a perfect weight for my height if I was approximately 12 feet tall. Maybe it’s my height I need to work on. Is there a lifestyle change that will help me increase my height? I thought not.
Since I can’t seem to grow another six feet, I figure it would be nice to get together with other people who are too short for their weight. I can’t be the only one who needs to drop a few pounds…or a ginormous number of pounds like I do. So if you want to become part of a cheerleading/grumble session, just give me a holler at email@example.com I was going to type ‘cheerleading bitch session’ but it brought back to many memories of high school, and no one wants that.
I’m not sure of the best way to do this, but there has to be a way that we can get together in a chat room, separate blog, or somewhere else to share our tales of victory and struggle. There are oodles of places to do this sort of thing but I want to do this sort of thing with my friends rather than perfect strangers. ‘Perfect’ people need not apply. 😉
If anyone is interested and wants to be part of a group who will be supportive, listen to lamentations, and generally just be there for the rest of us, please get in touch. I promise I’ll return the favor and I’m sure everyone else will, too. I figure I can’t be the only one with a wonky height to weight ratio. Round people unite!
Maybe she saw where I scratched the door! I’ll just ‘hide’ behind this sofa cushion in case I’m in trouble. No, that can’t be it. She’s laughing. I wonder what I did? Don’t tell her about the door or I’ll have to find a bigger cushion!
I was going to write my usual “oh no, Winter is coming” post where I lament the colder weather, but I’m not going to do it. I know, it’s a shocker, so I’ll just wait for the gasping to subside. It was such a fabulous summer weather-wise that I have nothing to complain about. That’s not entirely true, I do have things to complain about but certainly not about the weather. Did I mention that my county has a frost advisory tonight? Still not complaining. Aren’t you proud of me?
I know, you are all wondering if the boat is as great as we thought it would be. The answer is: “How do I know? We haven’t gotten it, yet!” That’s right, we ordered it 2 1/2 months ago and they say it’s made, but no boat has arrived. No dock either. They have made one excuse after another. Finally, I texted the dealer and told them we’d take delivery in the spring. No response. So I’m not sure what’s happening, but I do know the thing isn’t going in the water this year. So I could complain about that, but I’m still riding high on the ‘it was a beautiful summer’ thing so I won’t say a word. Even though I could. Even though I’d be justified. I still won’t. Yet.
In other news for Cornville, I just saw the cast list for an upcoming movie a friend of mine is directing. He’s been working on this concept for ten years and I’ve been helping him with some dialog along the way. I was amazed to see that he’s credited me as a writer for the film. That was a total shock! I was happy to help where I could, but never expected to it to be so publicly acknowledged. Big revelations in the mainepaperpusher household today!
The only other big news in Cornville is that I have ordered some new devices. I watched the Apple Event a couple of days ago and of course, I wanted all sorts of Apple-icious stuff. Last night I drank the Kool-Aid. I drank a lot of it. At the end of this month, I’ll be drowning in Apple-flavored goodness. Ask me if I’m excited! Just ask!
And for those of you Walter fans out there, here’s a pic I posted on Instagram a couple of days ago. I have to keep Walter’s adoring public happy, after all!
For skort-shredding, grit-in-the-teeth, foot-blistering fun, tour Vancouver, Canada like your child is away visiting relatives and you and your spouse might not get a vacation alone again in a very long time. That’s just what Nate and I did this past weekend. We toured. We toured hard. We lit up the streets with the friction between our thighs—we were walking that fast. And we rocked it. We rocked it hard. Here’s how you can rock it in Vancouver too:
Stay at the Executive Hotel LeSoleilon Hornby Street. We always stay there when we visit Vancouver and we’re never disappointed. Here’s why:
It’s not haunted at all. I made up a ghost story that took place in this hotel a year or two ago during my Halloween “blog blitz.” I was trying to do a ghost tour on the cheap by DIYing it. The blog post was called: “Haunted DIY Ghost Stories of Vancouver, Canada”and the results are just what you would expect from the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks team: unusual, bizarre snippets of absurdity provided in the hopes of a laugh or two. I just want to take the opportunity now to tell you all for real—in case there was any doubt or confusion due to previous blog posts—that in this hotel, you will not wake up in the morning all possessed and stuff. In fact, this last time, when I did fall asleep for a moment or two, I had a beautiful dream about receiving two separate emails about two short stories I’d sent to literary magazine editors in the hopes of publishing them. In my dream, both emails indicated that two different magazines would accept the stories in question. This dream was so fantastic and real, that when I woke up in the morning, I used my phone to immediately check my emails. However, I did not get any acceptances from literary magazine editors. Instead, I got a rejection for a story that I’m having a hard time placing. It’s called “The Change” and it’s about an ax-wielding menopausal Sasquatch named Chloe, who finds her purpose in life. I’m hoping to get it published because I think it can help a lot of people. It’s kind of a Dear God, it’s me, Margaret . . . but for menopausal Sasquatches. Maybe it’ll end up in the self-help aisle of a bookstore someday. Who knows? In any case, I don’t blame the hotel for my story rejection. The mattress on the bed is very soft and the rooms are tastefully and luxuriously appointed. I always feel like a queen, but not one that’s trapped in a Sasquatch’s body—unlike some other hotels I may have stayed in while on vacation, but that story can wait for now.
DO eat at the Copper Chimney Restaurantin the hotel. Ignore the 3.8 rating on Google. This place deserves a much higher rating. At first, Nate and I tried really hard to pay attention to that rating. Here’s a sample of our conversation beforehand:
Me: I don’t know. This place has a 3.8 rating. Do you really think we should eat here?
Nate: A drink couldn’t hurt, I suppose.
Me: Oh, no—you’re right. A drink does not hurt at all.
So, we bellied up to the bar. I had a rosé and Nate had a Moscow mule and some yucca fries that came with a delightful sauce. We were just beginning to relax and unwind, when we received alarming texts from Alex, who was supposed to be in Chicago boarding a plane to Dayton, Ohio to visit relatives. However, his flight kept getting delayed and delayed and delayed. We weren’t sure if he would ever leave Chicago. I was in complete freak out mode. Though Alex is 16, this is my first time as a “free range parent.” That’s when the manager on duty sprang into action. He served me more wine and helped Nate and me move to a table where we could set up a “nerve center.” From this strategic site, I texted hundreds of heart and poop emojis to Alex. Then, I texted even more heart and poop emojis to my parents and brother and sister, asking for a prayer chain to invoke St. Christopher and whoever the saints of wine, headaches, and nervous stomachs might be. Nate, on the other hand, was more sophisticated with his texts. He sent Alex gifs of monkeys crashing planes and dancing. Then, the food came to the table and it was delicious: fresh, fluffy naan straight from the clay ovens. I ordered a tikka shrimp dish that was so spicy and flavorful—and cooked perfectly. Nate’s butter chicken sauce was really, really good too because I tried it by dipping a piece of naan into the sauce. The food was a delightful distraction, but we were still worried. The manager came by to check on us and reminded us about our options for Alex at the airport—other than texting nonsense. We could call the airport and request that an agent check on Alex to make sure he was okay. Then, he told us about his flying experiences. One delay of his was so bad that he missed his connecting plane, which would have put him on the doomed Malaysian Airlines 370 flight. So, now we were glad that Alex was safe on the ground at this point. However, after my third glass of wine, Alex was finally on a plane and he landed in Dayton an hour later. Long live the tikka shrimp, rosé, and night manager on duty 6/28/19 at this restaurant!
We also ate at the Season’s restaurant, which overlooks the gardens that continued to captivate me. Here’s a snippet of the conversation I shared with Nate:
Me: My beer tastes amazing.
Nate: Mine too.
Me: How much would it cost to have gardens like this at home?
Nate: About $100,000 to put in and $50,000-$100,000 a year to maintain.
Me: Hmm. What would that be in Canadian dollars?
Nate: Not much less.
Me: But less, right? So it would be better?
Nate: Not really. No.
Take the SkyTrain over to Yaletown. Walk and walk and walk and walk around the waterfront. Take a ferry over to Granville Island and walk and walk and walk until you think you can’t stop into anymore shops. But there are so many shops . . .
Take the Hornby Street ferry back and walk over to Water Street to find dinner and perhaps a new cultural “moment” you hadn’t anticipated. For instance, I stumbled into what I would call the “sister loo.” Inside the women’s bathroom of one of the restaurants where Nate and I dined, I found a couple of large bathroom stalls that I thought were for wheelchair accessibility, but perhaps they were not. These stalls held fully functioning side-by-side toilets and one was not a bidet. After a hefty pint of beer, my bladder was bursting enough to make me just rush into one of these stalls, but I stopped myself because I felt guilty. There was just one of me. What was the polite thing to do in Canada in this situation? Perhaps I should have invited someone else in with me. I obviously would not have needed both toilets by myself. Luckily, a “normal” stall opened up, thus saving me from a very embarrassing international incident. It left such an impression on me though, that I bolted from the bathroom grabbed Nate, and began my story with, “Girlfriend, I need to tell you something . . .”
Take the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour. It runs on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online and groups meet near the Cathedral. Tracy was our tour guide and she did an amazing job. She dressed in period costume and took on the persona of an historical figure from 1898. No one in the group was picked on to get quizzed on their knowledge of Gastown or made to re-enact a pirate scene. Occasionally, Tracy did little asides that were fun, like “Am I right? I see this gentleman here knows what I’m talking about”—and everyone would laugh. Harmless enough. She did that to me once during the tour. She was telling a story about drinking gin and then she turned to me and said, “Am I right? This gal here knows what I’m talking about.” And I turned to Nate and said, “She’s psychic! Tracy is psychic! She totally knows me. She knows I would drink gin. I would totally do that!”
The next morning, grab a bite to eat at the food court in Canada Place by the waterfront. Here, you can see the cruise ships pull up—as well as amazing feats performed by both Canadian police officers and drug addicts. In fact, I was enjoying a fat free yogurt and a Coke from inside the food court, when I was treated to a fascinating show performed by a smartly dressed Canadian traffic cop and a rather rambunctious man who was armed with a rolled-up magazine. He held it under his arm and jumped around aggressively at passersby—trying to stab them I suppose with the magazine. The traffic cop just walked right up to him and smiled in a cheerful fashion. Now, since I was inside the food court, I couldn’t hear the conversation that transpired outside on the plaza, but this is how I think it went:
Police Officer: Well, helloooo there! How are you?
Police Officer: That’s right! A breakfast sandwich! I’ll just pop into this Tim Horton’s right here. You wait right there. I’ll be right back.
The man sat for a while, and then he charged through the front doors of the food court. That’s when I grabbed Nate and headed for the back door. I have no idea how this story ends, but I hope the breakfast sandwich hit the spot.
Head for the US border, hoping you can stay just a little longer—and you get your wish because you’ve been selected for a random car inspection, even though you have a Nexus pass with the words “Trusted Traveler” written on the front. I was so confused.
Me: Nate, you did tell the border guard that we’re not carrying any fruit or agricultural products with us? That’s what they’re really looking for.
Nate: Of course I told them we weren’t carrying any fruit or agricultural products! I have no idea why they’re doing this. This sucks!
So, we pulled our car around, and we were told to go inside the building next door and wait. While we waited, I watched border patrol/customs agents walk around behind a desk and go to cubicles to work. There was one very entertaining group of border officials that walked around with precisely two oranges and a banana. It took about three of them to carry these pieces of fruit efficiently: One to hold the fruit and two to parade around behind the agent holding the fruit. They looked pretty proud of themselves—like they had found the two oranges and a banana in a car and confiscated them. They looked like they were rehearsing what they’d say to the culprits when they presented the oranges and banana to them: “We told you. We told you to tell the truth about agricultural products and declare them. Do you recognize these? We found them in your lunch sacks!”
We were probably “detained” for 20 minutes and that same group of border patrol agents paraded around the back with the fruit at least three times. At one point, I convinced myself that they would juggle the fruit. In fact, I was really hoping they would. I kept saying, “Please juggle!” in my head until we were called to the counter and told that we could leave. All in all, we could have probably avoided the whole “random car inspection” fiasco if I could have just applied what I learned from the Canadian police just a few hours before. I would have looked at the border agent, smiled cheerfully and said, “Do you know what you need? That’s right! A breakfast sandwich!”