Friday, December 9, 2011

Living in Latex

Spanx are supposed to be the dirty little secret that overweight women keep to themselves.  Why, oh why, then do I feel the need to announce to my coworkers that I'm a Spanx junkie?  I'll tell you's my obsessive fear of my genetics!  My father has had a quadruple mother several strokes.  I did not win the genetic lottery.  I inherited my fathers quirky sense of humor and my mothers assurance that I will outlive any famine.  Both of my parents enjoyed writing so it's no wonder that I feel the need to document the random thoughts that plague my brain.  Family medical history considered however...I'm a potential blockage waiting to clog the cardiovascular highway at any minute.  So thus is my Spanx dilemma.  I lie awake playing it out in my mind....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Go Tell it on the Mountain

My brother Dave called me last week and asked me to go hiking up Cowles Mountain with him.   Since I would do just about anything to spend time with my brother, who I must say was about my best friend in the world when I was growing up, I eagerly slotted time in.  Saturday morning at 6:30am?  You bet!  Let me start with telling you that he was there at 6:15am and wide awake.  I was dressed and feeling the effects of living through a corporate audit the week before...technically awake, but my brain was numb. 

We picked up water and headed for the hills.  Cowles was space in the parking lot so we had to park a ways down the street and walk up to the starting point.  Let me stress that again...walk up to the starting point.  My brother took off on the sidewalk and I jumped in beside him.  I was panting on about step three.  Let me preface this with saying that Dave just finished 90 days of P90X.  I just finished 90 days of what?.....sitting behind a computer working on my Master's Thesis.....sitting behind a computer working on my five year program renewal for work....sitting behind a computer preparing for our company can see that we had a slight imbalance in our physical abilities....let's break it down even more....he's a guy who's fit and I'm a gal who's fat.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stress and the Steering Wheel

I took a little trip to Los Angeles on Thursday.  Actually, there is no true "little trip" to LA.  There is only stress filled bouts with endless traffic that bring back memories of stress filled endless bouts of traffic from when I lived in Pasadena.  To complicate matters, I woke up late.  That is....I woke up late the second time I woke up.  The first time was at 4:30am - a reasonable hour if you are planning a three hour drive.  I laid back down....for just a sec....and rewoke at 6:15am....on a day when I needed to be near the LAX at 10:00am.  With no traffic, Google maps stated that the drive would take 2 hours and 12 minutes if I used the 73 (a toll road) to avoid the 405/5 interchange.  I tried to recalculate how long it would take with traffic.....hmmmmm....2 days.  A slight exaggeration but for those that have driven there, you know it only slight.   I looked for any toll road that I could pay $100.00 and have a clear shot....apparently it does not exist. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Eat, Pray, Study...and Eat

I am in my final week of my second to the last class of my MSN.  In two weeks, I will be in my final class.  I'm trying not to hit the celebratory wine early.  I still have several projects due including one on Tuesday. close!  I mention this only because if you have read my earlier posts, you know that I am clearly defined as a stress eater.  I was hoping to outgrow this character flaw at some point, but just like my hobbit feet, it appears to be deeply ingrained in my being.

 This is complicated by the fact that my son faulted me with the dog chewing up something in his room.  I was personally thankful that he was gnawing on something other than a fifth pair of my shoes.  I was, however, the one that left his bedroom door open.  He has a full length mirror in his room.  The one in my office must have come from a circus as it has a slight wave to the middle which makes my waist look anywhere from 5 inches to 45 feet.  Not exactly the best thing to use before leaving the house.  When I'm trying to avoid my homework, I sit in front of it and watch my face turn from conehead to microface.  (You know you would do the same thing if you had one!)  So....I borrowed Tommy's mirror and left the door open.  I found the mirror in my bedroom the following morning with a note saying "Take it!"  I'm sure he meant that in a much more giving manner than it came out!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Who Are All These People?

I have officially lived through another high school reunion....and am starting to wonder if I was actually home schooled and just forgot.  To borrow a friends comment -"I didn't 'feel' unpopular when I was in high school, but.....".  Now, I should mention that my graduating class had about 1000 kids in it.  That fact should make me feel one could know our entire graduating class.  But you would think that I would know....say....10 people?  I think that was about it, or so  it felt.  What complicated the evening is that most of the group of kids that I hung out with didn't show....there was only me and my best friend in high school there to represent our, from what I have memories of, very close knit group.  The rest of the people were a little fuzzy to me. 

Now the evening started with a slight bit of wardrobe malfunction.  I was wearing my tribal tunic and black pants only to realize top is a little lower cut than I normally would wear.  I think I would have ventured out anyway had my son not said "Wow, Mom....planning on shaking hands with those things?"   I ran to the bedroom for a black cami and discovered that the only cami I could find had an embroidered design on the chest.  Now I was no longer low cut....but sort of lumpy...again, not the look I was going for.  This prompted an emergency phone call to Loree for a black cami.....You may be unaware that Loree is a bit more petite than I am....I don't know if her cami will ever be the same; I think I may have to buy her a new one.   I was more comfortable, however, and ventured off to Torrey Pines.

I had managed to get several things done during a jam packed move a truck load of concrete blocks from the backyard, fit in a Scrabble game with my dad, get my toes and fingernails done.....but I did miss out on getting my car washed.  I pulled into Torrey Pines Hilton driving my incredible dirty (remember, I live in a construction zone right now!) 2005 Honda Civic feeling like a teenage kid driving her parents beater car.  I was happy to see a white mini van in front of me looking like they were building a retaining wall also....

I found my friend Cheri and we walked into the reception area.  A bit of history....I have been to three high school reunions now.  My ten year reunion found me a few weeks after splitting up with my husband, unemployed, just having discovered that I was pregnant (surprise!) with my third child and on welfare.  Do I need to explain why I felt the need to attend the 20 year?  I did feel a need to state that I was not sucking the California budget dry and was self supporting.   The 30 year was more of an optional activity for me but Cheri assured me that we would go together, so I decided to go.  I think I had blocked out what I was already realizing at the 20 year....that I didn't really know that many people.  I did also realize, however, that I am a people watcher at heart and this was yet another opportunity to sit quietly and take in the action around me.
Overall, the night was fun...and interesting.  The first person that came up to us made it extremely clear that she had no memory of me but did somewhat remember Cheri.  This stung a bit since I did remember her...or so I thought.   After looking in the yearbook, I was confusing her with another girl with the same last name....turns out I didn't know her either!  I did, however, meet up with about five people who did remember me and I remembered them...always a good combination.

Can you find me?
I sat with one woman for a few minutes who thought that I must be a spouse since I was sitting alone, seemingly completely friendless.  I assured her that my friends had just left to get drinks....or something....Hey...where did those guys go?   During the conversation, we discovered that we had both been on the Drill Team (I know...I know...cheerleading for fat son already told me!) at the same time.  I couldn't place her and it was obvious that she was having the same memory lapse.  I hit up my yearbooks today.  In the Drill Team pictures,!  Please note that Patrick Henry also seemed to intentionally make us as ugly as possible - we marched in wool green dresses, knee high lace up boots and "patriot" curls.  Its a wonder that any of us ever did get a date!

I did run into an old boyfriend....I believe he was about the overall nicest guy that I knew in high school.  He is now a successful business owner in San Diego.  It was good to see him as it did validate that I had some sort of social life in high school! 

My son and I sat with his friends and looked through my old yearbooks.  Apparently I did have friends....and a whole lot of people that wrote...."I wish I would have gotten to know you better because you seem really nice".  I'm starting to think that I truly was Romie or Michelle - not realizing that everyone was pointing and staring during my three years and I was just oblivious to it!  Now, I did have the last name of Pugh (pronounced like a church Pew) which did open up some teenage torture opportunities but it all seemed pretty good natured at the time.  Little did I know.....

Drama Production - I don't think I look like an outcast!
I left after about three hours and drove home, reflecting on my high school experience.  I actually had a blast and was in the middle class group - not with the popular kids but not hanging out in the smoking section getting stoned.  I was on Drill Team for 10th grade, Drama Production for 11th grade and worked after school in my senior year.  I had a group of about twelve good friends that accompanied me to Farrells Ice Cream Parlor, House of Ice Skating Rink and Dairy Queen at lunch.  Some of us still get together about twice a year...or whenever we remember that we are all still friends.  The other thing that I remember is that we really didn't have the "Mean Girls" type of popular group.   All the kids were pretty nice to everyone....or I may have just blocked that out, I guess.

Proof that I did have some friends!
Am I glad to not be a teenager anymore? bet!  I was very insecure in my saddle seat dittos (you will only know what they are if your over 40) that was covered up with my even then, quirky sense of humor.  I think I like life better in my 40's.   First, I don't have to wear pants that have a seam running up and over my rear and I was able to give up on buying the "in" fashions about the same time that my knees disappeared.  I've decided that being 50 must be even more liberating since you are suddenly allowed to wear purple hats everywhere.  The one thing that I do miss from seeing these pictures is a waist - I do remember enjoying having one.

Now my last picture is of me but that is not who I really want you to focus on.  Please focus on the guy standing.....behind me...and to the right.  Anyone remember OP shorts?'s the late 70's and early 80's, it was the guys that were wearing short-shorts.  Yet another fad that I am happy to be without. 
Hope you all have a great night!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tale of the Leopard Dress

I went shopping yesterday....with Joy, my boss. I have my 30 years reunion coming up and needed something that says..."I'm overweight but still attractive, pushing 50 but still young and successful in my career but not stuffy". It's alot to ask for one outfit...the pressure was on. We were headed towards TJ Max when we spied a Lane Bryant. Now, if you have read my earlier post, you know my relationship with LB. I entered warily, knowing that I had to be on guard for sequins! Thankfully, the Christmas attire was not out in August.

I was greeted, however, with a Tribal Tunic that showed promise. (I did flirt with a purple sequined tank but made it absolutely clear that we could only be friends in the dressing was absolutely not going home with me!) The top was embellished but not overwhelmed with sparkles. The cut also was perfect....gathered under the bust to slide gracefully past the trouble spots (or so I've learned on What Not to Wear). Joy helped me find some dress pants which took some effort...the first pair was swimming on me....leading me to think that my LB shopping may be coming to a close soon (yeah!). The second pair fit up top but hung mercilessly to my ankles...exposing my hobbit feet. The third pair was just like the three bears story....they fit perfectly! We managed to also find a pair of black sandals with the same embellishments that peeked nicely from my perfect pants.

I thought that I was done...until....a leopard spotted dress caught my eye. First of all...the fact that any dress caught my eye only reinforced in my mind that I must be hormonal....I don't wear dresses. You can see in my 2009 posts that I have dress induced anxiety disorder....I also have nylon induced PTSD. I don't wear dresses. But for some could be that I just read an article about the crowning of Ms. Cougar 2011 (I can only ask.....why?) but the dress whispered to me....I can cover all of your flaws with my leopard spots...I meet all of your criteria...young...slimming...and not stuffy! I showed it to Joy who told me...that was the dress that I picked out for you! was meant to be....I tried it on. Guess was....slimming, young and not stuffy....and it didn't look too bad as it slipped delightfully past my missing knees. Not too long...not too short. I bought it. I must add that the pictures are of LB models...please do not adjust your're dress will make me look that good!

Today I went to a wedding. I decided to plunge in. Yeah! A place to wear my dress. I touched up my toes...grabbed the liquid tan and started getting ready. I was faced with so many questions!! Do people wear nylons anymore? Even so...can you wear nylons with open toed shoes? Do I need a slip? Do they make those anymore? Can I wear Spanx? (I must say on the last one...I tried but was overwhelmed by the swish swish noise erupting from below my waist!). I felt like a divorced woman going on her first date. After primping and prancing in the mirror and looking at every angle that I could see (I opted to ignore my backside since seeing it up close in Leopard spots would undoubtedly make me loose me nerve), put on my heels and left the house with Loree.

We arrived at the wedding in Spring Valley and I was met with the realization that strong winds and dresses do not mix. The dress if fairly light. I held my hands stiffly at my sides and gave anyone that tried to hug me a quick clasp while hanging onto my dress for dear life. I felt positively unnerved...what happens if my dress flies up? Will any of these young single guys ever entertain marriage afterward? Will the thought of what becomes of old married women in dresses give them nightmares? I was grateful when we moved wind.

I then was encountered with sitting and standing during a wedding. I would try to run my hand over my rear in an attempt to be sure that I was sitting on the dress. I kept pulling it down over my legs. I was impressed with Loree crossing her legs....I knew that I would be too focused on where the hem line was to do anything other than sit with my ankles crossed. Each time I rose, I envisioned my dress caught in some random skin fold and exposing my entire backside to the people behind me. I have decided that for me...dresses should be accompanied by a side of Ativan. I'm going to have to work up to wearing one for a whole day....this could take years!

All in all, I had several compliments...including from my son and husband. I guess the stress was worth it. I did feel pretty...and younger in it. I'll continue to work on my relationship with the with all relationships....they take time to nurture and grow. Hopefully the dress and I will make peace at about the same time that my knees return!

Love to you all!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life as I Know It

OK - another five pounds down and a successful trip to the MD.  My cholesterol is down 50 points, my blood pressure was within normal range and apparently I don't look as anxious as I did the last time I saw him.  I thought back to my last appointment....January...right after I took my new position.  Suddenly it all made sense!  I was pretty stressed out I've reached a point of calm.  I enjoy the students...I've found a good balance between teaching and administration and I'm wrapping up my MSN.  I am no longer buying wine by the box!  I'm onto the little self regulating individual serving bottles. 

I do feel calmer and in some ways, more....can I say it?....attractive?  I still have all my other Samwise Gamgee traits....large feet, stocky body and red hair (albeit that one is by choice!) but I am feeling like a more feminine version of Sam...maybe something like Sam's wife...hmmm...without the curly hair and young face.  At least if I'm going to resemble a hobbit, I'm looking more like a female one!

I bought a treadmill from my friend Loree.  I know that everyone warned me that it would quickly become a clothes hanger but believe it or not...I'm using it!  I love it!  I put it at an incline of 8 and 3mph and go to town.  I am being warned by my family that I need to get it out of the Living Room - Matt wants me to keep it in the garage so he can sweat more while using it.  I have a feeling that if I sweat that much, they will find me passed out and covered with the neighborhood cats.  I like my exercise the way I like my...well....every other air conditioning and with some form of music or visuals to take my mind off it!

I also may add that in the Living Room I have the ability to watch my dog.  He stays in great shape by chasing his tail....for a little Tasmanian Devil spinning about the room.  He catches it sometimes...and chews on it...looking surprised that something is causing him pain.  That is quickly replaced, however, with that pesky thing moving at his backside and he's off and spinning again!  We have decided that....he's just not...that... smart.  But he's thin....there is always a trade off somehow, isn't there?  I'd try his method but alas...I have no tail...and my if I tried to spin like that, I would break something...most likely a hip. 

The other thing that has changed is how I order from restaurants.  Does anyone else feel that the calorie count on the menu's has completely ruined the dining experience?  Why even go out anymore?  I am typically relegated to soup and salad if I want to stay under 500 calories.  There is really no happy medium....everything else is 1500 calories and rising.  They even force me to look at the calorie count of the free chips and salsa....Come on!  They're supposed to be free!  Beat the calories out of them if you have to....!  In the end, however, I guess informed decisions are the best.  It has changed how I look at eating out...I can no longer rationalize eating an entire days (or two!) worth of calories at one meal....I do still feel at times, however, that ignorance was spite of how it affected my pants size!

So...I still have a lot of weight to loose.   I still have my fat suit....but it is in a smaller size.  I still have the uni-leg and my knees continue to hide from me.  Overall, however...that's OK!  If I take a long time to shed my suit, maybe I'll have time to adjust to not wearing it.  And my fat suit does have some special things that  I love about it.  Some people get lost inside of theirs....mine is pretty can still see me inside of it.  Who I am is pretty much who I am at any size...a hobbit that loves to laugh!

Love to you all!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I'm feeling the anxiety building.  Memorial Day is coming...what to most people is just a delightful three day weekend.  But to me...and to other fat suit wearers, it means something much more sinister.  Summer is here.  And for this's not just's summer in Yuma.  Eric and I have decided to visit my brother this Yuma.... a house that contains two adults, about six dogs and my archnemesis...the pool. 

San Diego has been very kind to me this year.  It was still raining up until a week ago.  I could still wear jeans on Saturday's and no one batted an eye.  I'm thinking that you can get away with long pants in San Diego up to about the 78 degree mark.  When you hit 80, layers shed like snakeskin.  Suddenly everyone is in short shorts and Cami tops....and....(shudder).....bathing suits.  I do own a bathing suit.  I bought it about three years has never been worn.  Mainly because I can't wear a pair of jeans under it...or Spanx.  

This weekend, however, it is slated to be 101 degrees in Yuma.  I will look like an imbecile in jeans....or sweats....or anything besides shorts.  It will be similar to the 15-mile training walk that I took preparing for the 3-day in which I forgot three very important items....water....a hat...and sunscreen.  I almost passed out at the end.   Yep.....I got nothing to counter that.  I was an idiot. fat suit is complicated with one other problem.  My legs have not seen the sun since 2006.  I believe that was about the time that I lost my knees.  I can feel my patella if I wade through the fatty tissue, but it is definitely not visible to the naked eye.  So...if I wear a swim suit, I will have to deal with explaining why my legs are fluorescent white....why my legs seemingly have joined together to make one big leg...and why I have no knees.  You can see why I'm having anxiety.  Thank God it's family. 

Now, I have been busy since the last time I wrote.  I have lost 15 pounds.  My pants are looser.  My waist in smaller.  My friend has told me on numerous occasions that my shirts don't spread tightly on my midsection anymore.  Side note....if you see me wearing something that makes me look fatter.....please comment.  I have a thick skin...I can take it.   I'd rather have you say something than find out by ending up on the "People in Walmart" website.   I am eating healthier....fruits, vegetables and lean meats.  Eric and I are somewhat followers of the 17-day Diet.  Not obsessive followers but more like....hmmmm...casual followers.  We are eating healthier but I did partake in a glass of wine tonight.  I had to....the pool is coming.

So.....15 pounds...and still no knees.  I estimate that I need to loose about 20 more pounds before they pop out again.  I do hear that tan skin makes you look thinner.  That may be I reach for the Jergens self tanner.  I may end up orange but at least I won't be sheet white.  I can't do anything about the uni-leg by Saturday.  Maybe I can invest in a nice wrap.  Do they make ones that cover you from sternum to ankle?  I do have ankles still.  I don't mind people seeing those...just nothing any higher!

OK....I'm going to just go with it.  It's family.  They love me in spite of my flaws.  Heck, at this point, I may just remind them of my mother.  I remember thinking that she was big when I was a know....when i was a size 9 in Saddle Back Ditto's.  Back when I had two thighs and knees.  Now?  I look in mirror and realize that I don't just resemble her....I became her!   Only her without all the talent!  Who cared if she was big?  She could play the guitar, piano, organ and believe it or not....the accordion.  She sewed, cooked and sang.  Amazing talent all wrapped up in her own fat suit.  As we grew to appreciate what an amazing woman she was, no one saw the fat suit....they only saw incredible talent. 
Maybe I could learn to juggle by Saturday. 

Say a prayer for me.....I may end up with PTSD....and my family could end up blind from the sun reflecting off my legs.   Maybe i can go vintage on the bathing suit....what do you think?

Love to you all!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Big and Bulky

I'm moving to Chicago.  I'm here for a work conference and I've's a fabulous city...with amazingly tall buildings, huge stores and lots of hustle and bustle.  None of these are reasons that I want to move here.  I want to move here because I get to wear a long coat and a scarf....and I look...just like everyone else.  I'm not the fat chick when I'm out walking here...we're all fat chicks!  It's a world of solid blocks of trench coats, bulky scarfs and hats and there's not a belly button ring in sight.  I love it here!!!!

I think at some point, I'm going to save enough money to just follow winter around the planet.  When summer comes to San Diego, I'll just head to Chicago...and then maybe Alaska....anywhere that I can wear a coat!  I'll work remotely and follow the rain...and snow...and become the human form of a walrus.  Don't a famine, I bet the walrus's will survive!

Or...I could just follow a new friends example...she did this crazy diet and lost 110 pounds.  It's called the.."I just ate less" diet.  Weird, huh?  She has a great plan...she just thinks through her decisions when she eats.  Its just so out there that it just might work...I'm going to eat a bit more of my Garretts popcorn and then will make the decision to put it away, in hopes that this will be the first of a long line of decisions.   Decisions that will enable me to give up my trench coat.

Since I don't see independent wealth in my future, this may be the better option.  I am faced with decisions regarding food about....every 30 minutes...on a good day.  About every 10 seconds on a bad one.  I've already confessed that I am a complete stress eater...with a bit of Prader Willi's on the side.  On a bad day, I can down my lunch, your lunch and the leftover food from the guy at the next table.  I'll be full, mind you, but will still keep eating.  So the first decision may be to just my plate.  Or even to just one serving.  Or to just walk away if I'm not hungry.   Now...the popcorn is staring at me...but I'm walking away.

Are my hips smaller yet?

Have a good night....I'll be under the covers hiding from my popcorn!  Love to you all!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's Not the Lighting!

I was chosen this week to be filmed at work.   We were graced with a film crew filming various spots to use for online classes that are being developed.  I was chosen to speak about health care accreditation.  While I hate being in front of the camera, I do have a reputation for being a team player and if it wasn't me, some other sap would need to do it.  I was given some ideas for speaking points, a very tiny microphone and a seat in the hot spot. 

The first item was to find a good angle.  The Filmer had my chair pointing off to the left as they looked through the camera.  "hmmmmm - move your chair to face front"....I obliged.   They looked through the lens, looked at each other and quickly said  "Well...that won't work....move back".  They started fidgeting with the lighting....looking through the lens....looking at each other and then fidgeting some more.  If you have ever seen the movie A League of Their Own, you will understand my next comment.  The phrase..."that Marla Hooch....what a hitter!"  came to mind.   I was reminded of my single days when a friend tried to encourage me with -"Sheri, I see all these guys want to date the beautiful girls and I keep telling them - What about Sheri Gomez? (my previous last name)  She has such a great heart!"  Dude....stop helping!  Another friend and I walked around for years saying.....That Sheri Gomez....what...a...heart!

I finally told the crew - "Sorry's not the lighting....THIS IS JUST HOW I LOOK!"  I thought that we would be looking at voice over at about that time but no.....they plunged on ahead, I'm sure determined to do some soft focus or play with  photo shop. 

I learned very quickly that I can speak in front of thousands of live people but become a babbling idiot in front of the camera.  When asked what a student could be asked during a health facility accreditation visit, I responded with what seemed to be an intelligent response - "they should know emergency procedures - such as the acronym R.A.C.E.....which stands for Rescue.....hmmm......and hmmmmmm.......and three other things!" 

Now, I could recite R.A.C.E. backwards and forwards once I was away from the camera - Rescue, Alarm, Contain and Extinguish....I've taught it about a billion times.  As the one eyed monster stared at me, however, I embodied Marla Hooch and could not put two words together in any intelligent format.  O.K. - that may be a slight exaggeration.  Overall, I did fine and did come off somewhat intelligent (other than for that whole RACE thing!) - which I'm very thankful for since as I've always believed, if you're in harsh lighting, you better impress them with something!

I've decided to be like Johnny Depp and not see the final cut.  I'll wait for the feedback from my students if they view the video.  If I see them snickering and pointing in the hallways, I'll know where its coming from.  And who cares, anyway... Marla was one of the best players on the team....we can't all be Mae! 

Love to you all!