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!”
Next on the agenda was to get some boating accessories. I had no idea I would need so much stuff to outfit our weird boat. And we, as weird boat owners, needed a lot, too. You may very well think that this will be an uninteresting list of stuff. To be fair, that may be true, but I promise at the end of the post there will be photos of Walter modeling his very own boat accessory.
You scrolled down, didn’t you? Just couldn’t help but skip right to the swimsuit model.
Finding a generator to charge the boat’s batteries was a bit of a challenge. Generators are heavy. Very heavy. If we were thinking about using the thing to run part of the house during a power outage, we needed something in the 3000-watt range. There was no way we could lift one of those things. I looked around and finally found the cutest generator ever. Can a generator be cute? It sure can! Check it out…
It’s a wee rolling generator with a suitcase handle! It even has a cute name. The Honda Handi is now part of our boat saga. It only weighs 78 pounds, which is half as much as a more typical generator with the same wattage would be. Now we have a weird generator to go with our weird-ass boat when it arrives.
The boat and the generator were just the first two things needed for our highly anticipated boating lifestyle. Next on the docket was the dock! Luckily, the boat guy was also a dock guy. To be honest, the boat guy had a dock guy. Luckily, the boat guy’s dock guy could manufacture whatever I might need. I probably should have warned him that I’d need a weird dock, but for the first few days, I just had him price out a typical dock. It was only later that I started adding a few changes and the true weirdness became clear. I wanted railings on both sides and steps into the water. I wanted dock ‘handles’ to hold onto when I get into the boat. Anti-convulsants make staying upright a challenge, so I need all the help I can get. The weird dock is going to look like a wheelchair ramp but at least I won’t fall in and drown if I have a seizure.
This whole epilepsy thing is a real buzzkill. If only I had gills! If I had gills I wouldn’t have to worry about all of this boring dock safety stuff. Gills would be awesome, but since I sadly don’t have them, I had to explain what I needed to the boat and dock guys and they figured out a way to do it. Of course, this means that now I have to wait for the boat and the dock to be built. Patience is not one of my virtues, but weird-assedness has its price.
Next on the list are life jackets. Did you know that you can get a life jacket that has a CO2 cartridge that will inflate the thing if it gets submersed? Whoa, this is some pretty cool technology. That whole not having gills thing is a major downer, but this might make things a bit easier if I end up in the drink. Since I’m going to be stuck wearing one of these things most of the time, I wanted one that was as unobtrusive as possible. The one shown below seemed like it might work out just fine. Although mine is in a nice fuschia color.
I have to admit, it’s hard to be unobtrusive as a large woman in a fuschia life jacket, but one must do what one must do. I suppose the bright color will help them locate me while I’m flopping around being all seizure-y and totally oblivious to my gill-lessness. I cannot stress enough just how unfair it is that I don’t have gills. I don’t even have one of those cool, scaly mermaid tails. Nooo…instead I get a self-inflating life jacket like the one below…in fuschia…and no gills. Sigh…
Have we forgotten about Walter? Of course not! Walter will be part of the crew even though he can’t pedal the paddle wheel. He still needs a slip-resistant dog bed and…yes…a lifejacket of his very own. You think I’m joking? Look below. Oh right, who am I kidding? I know you’ve already looked. I know how you are!
Here is our very own Walter sporting his new Ruffwear personal floatation device. Now we’ll be known not only as the people with the weird boat, but more specifically as the people with the weird boat with a Great Dane on board wearing a red life jacket. What can I say? We live a colorful life.
I know it seems odd to have a life jacket for a dog but the dog-paddle will only get you so far, especially if you are a Great Dane who never swims and only goes in the water up to your belly. I figure if he goes overboard, he’ll need all the help he can get! I might need to get a rope, though. If he goes overboard, there is no way I’ll be able to haul him back onto the boat…even if there is a life jacket handle. I am envisioning more of a towing situation. He’ll float along in his life jacket and we’ll tow him back to shore. The pontoon boat will become a tugboat, of sorts. Toot Toot! Walter coming through!
Buying the weird-ass boat posed a few, let’s call them, challenges. First, we had to pick all of the options. Solar was a must because we don’t have power at camp and no power means no electric backup. No electric backup means more pedaling for me. Solar was a necessity!
Upon further research, it became apparent that the solar backup was not going to provide enough power to keep the boat going without charging via electricity. Damn! This meant I had to get creative. Bill’s no-gas rule was really putting a crimp in my style. I was not looking forward to hauling batteries back and forth to charge them, either. What to do? What to do?
Maybe I could set up a solar array on the shore and it would provide enough power to charge the batteries? Hmmm… I started to look into wattages and voltages and amperages. My head was spinning. It was time to bring in an expert.
We have a merchant marine friend who is an engineer. Mike knows boats and electrical stuff and I was sure he would know how to make this work. Or at the very least, come up with an alternate plan that would work. I called him up and he was so intrigued with the weird-assedness of the boat, he came over to look at the specs and see the pics. After he stopped laughing, we talked about options.
Mike checked everything out. Being a guy who likes his motorized toys, he thought this was a pretty cool boat. Once that was ascertained, it was time to ask him what he thought about my solar idea. I couldn’t quite figure out how the voltage put out by the solar panels would work with the voltage needed by the boat. If it could work, Mike would know how to do it.
I told him my thoughts and posed the question. Now, let me just preface this by saying that Mike has no filter when it comes to what comes out of his mouth. Political correctness is not on his radar at all so his response to didn’t surprise me. He listened to my idea, and with an incredulous look on his face, said: “That’s retarded!” All I could say was: “I KNOW!!!”
He tried to explain why it would be improbable by throwing electrical terms at me that went over my spinning head. I finally had to tell him that he was explaining how to make a watch when I merely asked what time it was. Hell, when it came to this, I didn’t even know what day it was. At the end of it all, it was obvious that charging the electrical part of this boat was going to be impossible without hauling batteries back and forth to charge them.
It was then that Mike asked why we didn’t just get a generator. When Bill realized that he meant a gas-powered generator, he didn’t want anything to do with it. Mike went on to explain how easy it would be. Bill was unmoved. His vision of a gas-less lifestyle at camp was going up in smoke.
By the end of the evening, Mike had me looking up generators online and had Bill convinced that it would be insanely simple to run. Then he sweetened the pot by telling us that we could use it as a backup in case we lost power at the house. After a lot of hemming and hawing, Bill agreed.
So that is how we ended up buying a gas-less boat that will be partially powered by a generator that takes gas. Poor Bill just bought a new gas can. He just can’t win.
Just for fun, I mentioned the boat to Bill and got the questions I expected. I really didn’t think this would be more than an exercise we often engage in. One of us will come up with some crazy idea (usually me) and the other will pose very logical questions (usually not me) trying to show how ridiculous the idea is. The person who is being questioned (ok, it’s always me) has to come up with very logical answers to support the idea. It’s almost always theoretical and rarely ends in shouting. It didn’t end in shouting this time, either. There’s really no sport in the thing if I just get the questions I expect, but this really was an odd topic so it could go in any direction…probably around in circles.
The conversation went something like this (his part is in red):
“How big is this boat?” 15 feet long. “Are you crazy!?” As if he didn’t know the answer to that already.
“Does it take gasoline?” No, it’s powered by pedaling, along with electricity…and maybe even solar if we want to get that package.
“No gas?” No gas.
“I can pedal it?” Yes, you can pedal alone or we can both pedal together.
At this point, his face lit up. Not only would he get his exercise, but I might get a little, too! For some reason, he thinks it’s healthy for me to get exercise.
“You’d really go boat-pedaling with me?” Yes, I would go boat-pedaling with you…with electrical back up and an optional solar package. I might have left that last bit out, but in the spirit of full disclosure here, I figured I’d mention what I was truly thinking at the time.
“Where would we store it?” We have two acres of land at camp, store it anywhere you want. We can just cover it and let it winter over.
“How would we get it there?” I’m sure they deliver, and if they don’t, we could always buy a trailer.
“A trailer!? I don’t want to drive a trailer with a huge boat on it!” Then we will offer them some money and they will deliver it, I’m sure.
“How will we moor it?” We’ll get a dock. “A dock!? We’ll need a dock!?” Yes, that’s generally how it’s done.
“I really won’t have to deal with a combustion engine and gas?” Not even once.
“And I really won’t have to haul gasoline to camp?” Not a drop. I think we were repeating ourselves quite a bit here, but if that sort of emphasis gave weight to my arguments, I was willing to endure it.
“Where do they sell them?” Uhh…let me look. I told him where it was.
“That’s on the way to your appointment tomorrow, let’s stop and look at them.” HUH!? Here I was, winning the purely theoretical argument (go me!) and suddenly things got real. I had to tell him that no one in Maine had one of these in stock because they are so weird, but he wanted to check the place out anyway. I couldn’t believe it.
And that’s how we bought a boat while on our way to my appointment*