Wednesday, March 3, 2010

daily body smackdown...

I'm fed up.

I'm not fed. I'm just fed up.

I can't get away from news programs, advertisements, commercials, flyer's and event flyer's all telling me basically 'You're fat. And we can help you.'

I wouldn't mind losing a pound or two or, hell. Maybe twenty for extra measure. But if I do, it's because I want to. Not because I've been coerced or guilted into it.

Every single time I turn on the television there is Julian Michael's hawking her exercise regimen and diet supplements. Interestingly enough she is being sued for false advertising for the same weight loss supplement. Cashing in on her fame, she joined forces to sell worthless diet pills at $40 a pop. But the class action suit is for $5 million...Julian, put that in your weight belt and eat it.

What about Nutrisystem with Marie Osmond? Can her eyelashes get any faker or her hair any bigger? That's the rule with celebrity endorsed weight loss programs. Wear excessive makeup and big hair. Add to that stilleto heels and some horribly flashy garb and well, it makes the rest of you appear smaller. They really want me to believe that she eats their food to lose her extra weight?....Yeah, right. And she lives in a mansion on that swamp land I bought the last time I jumped on the '120 delicious foods' Nutrisystem bandwagon.

Or better yet, 'One Day at a Time' sister, Valerie Bertenelli, selling the Jenny Craig dream. That's all fine and good. But that commercial with the gal that just lost 5 pounds and wants to know if her mascara is waterproof because she's going to cry? They lost me there. It annoys the hell out of me. Really? 5 pounds? I understand that they are trying to make it 'let's not set our goals too high'... But c'mon. That commercial makes me want to boycott all things Jenny Craig.

Let's face it.
Losing weight isn't easy. It take diligence and hard work.


Back in 2001 I lost 43 pounds. I didn't need to. I didn't really want to. It just happened. I started losing weight and the next thing you know, none of my clothes fit. I was buying size 0. Yeah...I said that right. Z-E-R-O. And some of those didn't fit all that well. They were a little baggy. I'm 5'6". It wasn't pretty.

When I was 120lbs....I looked good. That there's my fightin' weight.
I could put anything on and look fabulous. But at 100lbs? No sir. I looked ill.

Granted, I was going through a divorce and I just couldn't eat. Seriously. I couldn't. The weight just fell off. And then slowly I stabilized. The antidepressants my doctor prescribed for me started putting the weight back on even without my eating. Then I didn't need those any more and I stayed the same for quite some time.

Like most women, I fluctuate with weight. There is a song by Lyle Lovett called "Good Intentions' croons "The temporary weight gain due to excess water retention...It's just a fact of life, that no one cares to mention." That's me.

I mean, he wasn't singing about me, but was singing about me.

Guys don't have to deal with that. Lucky bastards. So they don't quite understand what we go through. But lately for each 5 temporary pounds put on, I only lose 4 9/12. Doesn't sound like much, does it. But it the math. That's 2 pounds a year. I'm presently at a size that takes very little effort to maintain. I'm not going to be modeling for Hawaiian Tropic or anything, but people don't run screaming in the opposite direction when I approach either.

Sometimes I see some rather heavy people in outfits that I wouldn't wear in the house, let alone out in public. Something inside me shouts, "Cover that shit up!" when you see a 200+ lb woman baring her midriff or wearing a mini-skirt. And then another softer side of me thinks, "That's cool, she has such body confidence."

Or maybe she might not own a mirror.
One second thought, by the look of her hair, it is indeed due to lack of a mirror.

In comparison, I look like a runway model.

My friend has a cousin that runs. She doesn't just run, she runs marathons. She thinks it's fun. I find it exhausting just listening to her talk about her running.

I like her. I really do. I admire her. And I admire her commitment.

I used to run. I used to run a lot. Used to. Past tense.
I enjoyed it as well. I was in excellent shape. And then I blew my knee out skiing. I swear it's never quite been the same since. If I run too much, it tweaks my knee and then I'm in pain for a month. I'd rather do something that doesn't aggravate it too much. Why push it? There are other physical activities that I can get involved with that will leave my delicate cartilage at peace.

I saw her at a gathering around October and she had gotten that P90X. It works. Of that I'm sure. If you have the commitment to do it. Which she does. And which I don't.

When I saw her in November, again I ambled into a conversation going on and it was all about P90X. At the Christmas party as I went over to get another cocktail she was standing in the kitchen talking to someone about...guess what? P90X.

I would love to transform my body into a work of art. Muscular art. But I don't have that much time to devote to an extreme workout everyday, nor the time to shower then afterwards. I just don't. I want to...but it's hard enough working in all the things on my calender already.

Now I can almost hear some of you saying, "But you CAN. Just change your schedule."

I wish I could. I've been running behind the eight ball for so long. Squeezing things in here and there. Not enough time for such a rigorous fitness program.
Right now.

Although I do have their website listed as one of my search favorites. Maybe I might just take the 90 day challenge. I did just get that new Victoria's Secret Swim Catalog. I bet there might be something in there I might like. Fact is, I'm sure of it.

I read the other day that Demi Moore does a daily body assessment.
She stands naked in front of a 3 way mirror and looks at her entire body to see what needs to be worked on and what looks good.

Every day.

But her job depends on her looking good. Hell, her job is to look good. She has the time and the energy and the commitment to look like she does. And all the money to back it up as well.

Let's not mention the little hottie husband, Ashton baby, to boot who is a smackdown 16 years her junior. I think if I had to live and sleep with Ashton, I'd make it my priority too to look as damn hot as I could.

My brain has too much respect for my fragile ego to allow me a daily mirror assessment of that intensity. There are some things that should be left unscruntized. I do wish to be able to address the world with some sort of head held high decorum, after all. Demi's ritual might well be the end of Nancy as we know her if introduced into the household itinerary.

I'm not excited about getting older, but yet I'm relatively okay with it. I don't want to destroy my looks like I personally feel Meg Ryan has done. She was adorable. And now she's just...well, like all those other gals getting older and trying desperately to not. Botox, plastic surgery, implants, liposuction. I am bombarded with images of these women not growing old gracefully daily.

I just want to feel good.
About me.

Without the pressure of pleasing anyone but myself.

But how much is that P90X? Because that little black bikini is killer. And 120 is my fightin' weight...

I could so rock that.

Where's my debit card.


  1. I hear you, sister. I remember an interview with Rene Z after she lost "all" the weight she gained for B. Jones Diary. He answer to how she did it was simple: It's basic math. I've never been great at math.

  2. I totally get where you're coming from, but mostly I look in the mirror and my issue of high self esteem kicks in. I look at myself and say, "Damn, baby, you look gooood." Could I stand to lose 20 lbs? Easily. Will I? Maybe. I'd certainly feel healthier if I hit the gym a little more frequently. But I guess I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin and isn't that really what matters most? I just need to work on balancing it out- feeling good about myself, but knowing when I need to exercise for health reasons, you know? It's not always easy!

  3. Yeah, I'm good at math, but my body's not.

    But seriously, folks, I know just what you mean. I want to be okay with this "I should lose ten or fifteen pounds" look of mine, but I also know how much better I FEEL when I'm thinner. I was THAT weight all my life, then menopause tapped me on the shoulder and starting expanding my entire body. Ugh. So, as you may know, I'm working it-- the diet and the exercise. Let's hope I can take it ALL off, and regain some energy and stamina!

    As for the horrid commercials, God bless Tivo. I'm blissfully ignorant of all of them.


  4. Great post Nancy. I usually gain 5-7 lbs a winter and lose it by June (I'm 5'9"). It's harder as we get older, no? I just can't eat that much or I gain. I can't run w/o hurting the knees either. But I have a stationary reclining bike that I need to get back on since my sinus surgery.... And I swim in summer. Ah, summer.
    Now I have to go look up this P90X because I've never heard of it!
    I've been trying to be less hard on my body lately. Telling myself I look good so stop trying to be even better. And Demi Moore? She's admitted to much nipping and tucking. I feel like it's impossible to trust the physicalness of anyone in Hollywood, or many other places, these days.

  5. Nothing like a major stress event in life to help you lose weight.

    I quit watching TV years ago. Now it's History Channel or nothing.

    Honestly, the Bowflex is the best machine out there. It was great for me. I sold mine because I was never home to use it, and didn't have room for it in my new(old) house. But I thought it was awesome. It really works well.

  6. The main point in all this I agree with: you can only loose weight if you WANT to.

    I'm one of the ones that most people would call a fitness freak. I train at least 12 hrs per week. I happily get up 6am on a Saturday morning and go and bike 70 miles. I don't have kids to take care of though, and I don't have a job that demands irregular hours, I also am blessed with a very understanding and supporting wife.

    People tell me that they should be doing what I do, I tell them not to unless it's what they WANT to do.

    Now if you're 5'6" your ideal weight is around 120lbs for a normal build (if you go P90X for real , then you could easily do 130 and still fit a size 0 as the 10lbs would be all solid muscle). At 140lbs you're still in the normal range a safe 10lbs away from being officialy overweight.

    So what to do? Well you already said it, do what YOU want, not what some idiotic add say you should be,do,looks like. However, stand by your decision! Especially if that is not doing anything about at all. Also turning your life upside down to start a exercise regime and kick out all the unhealthy food usually leads to being back to where you started in no time at all... Small gradual changes is what gets you there.

    Oh, if you did pull out the card and have P90X on the way... The first thing you'll be doing is a fitness assessment, if you don't pass the advice will be to go through a preparation training plan to get you to the basic fitness level required to start the 90 day program... I have NO idea where you are fitness wise, but if your friend didn't share this bit of wisdom then well you got something to complain about next time you see her...

  7. I have a number of friends who are running 10+ miles regularly and 4 who are marathoners. (!) For a while that made me a little cranky and felt it diminished my own little 3 mile workout. But now I'm good with it. My goals are different, and I like my goals. I don't want to commit to that as my one and only extracurricular activity. Plus they all complain about a lot of injuries. I"m not sure the body was really meant to sustain that kind of pounding regularly. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Plus, I also feel that at almost 49, and pretty fit, I'm doing DAMN good!

  8. It was so much easier to eat all the junk you wanted and still stay skinny when you are young thanks to a metabolism that burns off calories at lightning speed. Though i'm not in my dotage yet i can still feel and see the difference in my body. If i wasn't so lazy i would do something about it. Alas for me, i am completely going to depend on my body to do the right thing by me!!!
    Be proud of your body and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

  9. I totally agree about Demi. I wish it was my job to stay in shape- because I would so do it. There is something about being paid for something to motivate you, right?
    When I was younger and going through a stressful or exciting time I would lose weight because I couldn't eat. Now I am the opposite- I eat more! Now I need to look up that PX90- I don't get commercials here so I have not heard of it...

  10. I too lost a lot of weight over a stressful life event. I had twins, one of whom was very sick for the first year of her life. Food goes WAAYY down on the list of priorities.

    A couple of relatives have had cancer and lost heaps of weight. I find now I can't admire "skinny". It scares me, makes me think people aren't well.

    That being said, we all hear the doctors. If we want to live a long and productive life, then we have to eat well and exercise enough.

    I find diet ads the height of ridiculousness (is that a word?), also kind of sad. I wouldn't like to put my name to something which preys so much on people's insecurities.

    Love your writing. I always find so much to think about.

  11. nice blog.....

    I totally agree with the celebrity stuff....

  12. I had to stop reading this for about five minutes when I got to the woman who was crying over her five pounds because I was laughing so hard!

  13. Well said.

    I'm still looking at my skinny clothes which are now out of date. Ugh!!!

    I just got a my hair cut and it feels like I lost 5 pounds and I'm feeling great!

    Love reading your blog, and the comments.

  14. I have to look up P90X also because I've never heard of it. I believe in aging gracefully. Look at Meryl Streep for example. I recently (as in just this week) decided to make more of an effort to eat healthier and exercise more. However, a bikini is no longer my motivation. Now it's my overall health. As long as my husband still eyes me with that "special" look, I'm happy in my skin.

  15. "I just want to feel good.
    About me.
    Without the pressure of pleasing anyone but myself."
    No truer words were ever spoken, my friend.

    PS Did you notice the ad next to my comment? Jillian Michael!!

  16. @ Renee- You go girl! Your positive outlook on everything is contagious! :-)

    @ Eric - I appreciate your input. Coming from an ironman challenger like yourself, I could only DREAM of doing as much physical activity as you do!

    @DreamFarm - I hear you! I'm so not with the competiton of keeping up with anyone else. I do what's best for me. I was getting too many injuries running anymore. The bad outweighed the good, so I've given that up. :-)

    @Pine lakes- That's so great that you have someone that appreciates you just the way youi are. Damn. I jealous. :-)

    Someone said to me the other day, "I wish I were the size I was when I thought I was fat."
    I laughed so hard I had to excuse myself.

    Thanks for your comments everyone! Love them!!!

  17. Oh God Nancy, you hit the nail on the head. I thought once my fightin' weight was 120 too. Then I gained a bit and decided my fightin' weight must be 130. Right now I'd be thrilled if I get back anywhere near the 140 mark (even the doctor says that would be a good weight for me). I was once a very young thing with a metabolism to die for. Then menopause hit, they say your metabolism slows ... nope, mine left town completely. And now every day is a struggle just not to gain anymore and try and be as healthy as possible. Thank you for the post. I too wish I was the size I was when I thought I was fat! Perfect, may become my new motto!

  18. I wish I could be committed (not to an asylum-that would be too essy!) to exercise. I used to be. As for those crazy big hair and excessive make up gals....I guess if I got paid that kind of money for endorsements, I'd rock the 80's back in ! Ok, Nancy, would have inspired me to get active for ME, so I will feel healthy, looking good will be a bonus! Thanks for the kick in my pants. Just had a relative die unexpectedly of a heart attack...she was only 55...kind of scary.

  19. Oh, how I relate to everything you said...and the comments as well. Like you, a stressful event caused my weight to plummet. No thank you for that weight loss plan.

  20. Have I been living under a rock?? I've never heard of the PX90 elixir - but from what you are saying, I may need to google this magical product!

  21. You're talking about my super power here...weight gain! However, I can tell you P90X rocks as a workout. Still have to curb the calories though. It's a friggin tough workout. My husband was DYING the day after our first workout. Ha! I however, was just fine :)

  22. Its just hard to loose and keep it off - and to be truthful - us guys have the same problems...

    I'd love to get to "fighting" weight.. or even half way there.

    Being single and living alone working for myself makes meals and meal times really irratic... and I'm irratic to go with it.

    I will bet you though.. you are way to hard on yourself and you probably look really good just the way you are.

  23. I did p90x to lose weight/get in shape for my daughter's wedding last April--it is insanely intense as Ride My Mind will attest to. If running is hard on your joints, this will put you in a wheelchair.

    At any rate, I lost the weight, looked great for the wedding (which was awesome because it made my ex eat his heart out--something I waited 20 years for), then went home and totally binged. I deprived myself of goodies for so long that I acted like a third world orphan who's just been given their first real meal--all the time.

    I could stand to lose 10 or 20 pounds,okay, maybe even 30, but you know what? I had my turn being young and cute--I'm good with being a little pudgy (as my kids tell me) and letting all the 20-somethings have their turn in the spotlight. Would it be fair of me to take their limelight? I'm just being considerate of all those young girls. Really.

  24. @Bonnie- I DID see that! Darn Google ads! If only they knew that I had just pointed out that IY DOESN'T WORK!!! :-)

    @Julie- You know Julie, 120 lbs is probably a pipe dream. As is the bikini. It'd be nice if I COULD wear one (and fel good about it) but lets be practical. I'd rather wear a nice tankini that is more 'age appropriate'...ala Helen Mirren. Seriously folks...for her age (and yes, she is much older than me) she looks fantastic. Did you see that picture they posted on TMZ of her in a red two-piece? Perfect.

    @Janice- Sometimes I wonder if I would like to have a little stress to help jump start my weight loss program! :-)

    @Suzicate- we are all asylum ready, aren't we?
    I have to lose my love of procrastination before I can become really committed to anything.

    @Intense Guy-'ve gone a nd made me blush. Thank you!

    @Wine w/words- It's nice to be able to outdo the studs sometimes, isn't it? I DO hear it is a really, really hard workout. Maybe I'll start off with a little Richard Simmons instead.

    @Jen- Dang girl! That's awesome! Nothing like watching the ex's jaw drop. I'd like to have a little of that myself. :-)

    I appreciate your sompassion for the youngin's to stand aside for them. You are a true self sacrificing individual. I think I might nominate you for the Nobel. And as far as my joints? You might be right. But they have some really sleek looking BMW-esque wheelchairs lately....


  25. If I'm madly (as in mentally ill) in love, I drop weight. If I'm miserable I drop weight. If I'm feeling fine, I struggle with 10 pounds always! But no, Valerie or Marie or Demi do not have the same issues I do! Sorry girls! We really don't have a damned thing in common! Okay, I want that stuff too. 120 is my perfect weight as well. (Okay, 125 ain't bad either.) I'm 130 (or 135 on a bad day) and I feel your pain! Now how much is that P90X stuff again? Awww. Never mind!

  26. I totally think that pic looks like it?

  27. Who doesn't have a problem with their weight? Basically, once you turn into your teens, you think about it ALL THE TIME. But it shouldn't be an obsession and I can't say there's any joy in being bombarded with commercials about losing weight. It only makes you think about it more.

  28. OK coming from a guy who has never had a weight problem it really ticks me off to see the ads that make you feel that you have to be a toothpick to be accepted as a beautiful woman.

    The celebrities endorsing the products do so well because of their status, income, personal trainers, and amount of time they can give up to gain these unrealistic goals.

    You summed it up well Nancy when you said:

    "I just want to feel good. About me.

    Without the pressure of pleasing anyone but myself."

    If you can please yourself without outside pressure then you are rockin

  29. Come join the stripalicious challenge! Hey, I have P90X. I know you would never guess that. You can just copy mine. It's too expensive to buy. I got suckered during an infomercial. It really is an awesome workout but an hour, 6 days a week is tough. I do what I can.

  30. I couldn't agree with you more, commercials are there to wear even the most confident person down. It's awful.

  31. We have this commercial up in Canada (eh!) where this woman says, "and always's not you. It's your metabolism." Whenever I feel down in the dumps about my weight (I got a good 20lbs to lose) I think to myself..."It's not me. It's my metabolism!" and then I eat another Chocolate bar :)

  32. You describe the back and forth thinking that we all experience so well. I see it as a daily or even moment-by-moment set of decisions we make about what's most important to us, and I find, for me, that the more consistent I am in my choices (whatever they happen to be) the happier I am.

    I do have to point out that there was a jillian Michaels ad flashing to the right of your words as I read them (!)

  33. I SO agree with everything you say in this post! EVERYTHING! A looooong time ago, I decided to stop worrying about how much I weigh, and focus instead on how I feel. I'm happy as long as my body is healthy, serves its purpose, and does what I need it to do. As a bonus, it very often does what my yoga instructor wants it to do, too!

    Nonetheless, if I may make recommendations - nothing makes you appreciate your body like yoga. Once you actually realize that you can get into one of those break-a-leg poses and remain in it for more than five seconds, you feel like a queen. :o)

  34. Getting caught up on my blog reading. Happy Friday!!!!

  35. LOVED LOVED LOVED this post. I was skinny my entire life. NEVER had to exercise or diet and I was a size 4. Then I turned 40, got married, and quit smoking. Throw into that premenopause and the 15 pounds that has added to my 5'2" inch frame - 15 pounds on a petite person is looks like 30. SO, I too HATE all those commericals. When I saw Valerie Bertinelli in a bikini I felt admiration and betrayal. UGH.




  36. I love this post - so true. It's important to be happy in yourself, but the pressure to look skinny is so much these days. Sigh....

    Loving your posts as always!

    Kate x

    PS: I've left a little something for you over at my blog:

  37. I love this!! Of course such a relevant topic. But I also didn't know about Jillian...she used to be a fat kid, didja know that? She said so on this week's biggest loser. Am shocked that she was hawking diet pills. As if that would ever, ever work. I love your kick-off- I am so tired of the world that tells me I'm fat - but even more than that, I'm sick of all the messages saying I'm not good enough. F it all! We are awesome as we are, and self belief and confidence would do wonders for our world psyche!
    Came over from Perfect 10's award - congrats!

  38. I'm in the exact same boat. I'm not fat by any means... but I would love to lose like 20 pounds. I just don't have the time... or realistic motivation. I Googled this little plan you referred to here. Looks interesting. May have to look into it.

  39. Right there with you sista'. I never used to have to worry about my weight...I was short and thin. Well, I'm still short, but I could stand to lose 10 pounds. I constantly grapple with "isn't it better to enjoy my freaking food than obsess about how many calories it has?" Our local Girls, Inc. does a great job at empowering girls to feel good about who they are, feel comfy in their own skin. Make healthy choices, but avoid all of the constant ads begging that women change who they are with excessive make up, weight loss, etc.

    I've never been a huge Jessica Simpson fan, but she's starting a new show about Body Image that's supposed to be fabulous--really shedding light on what the fashion industry and all of these insane commercials are doing to hurt women. Looking forward to watching.

  40. I always had some romantic view of myself, thinking back on slimmer times and thinking these additional kilos I carry now are somehow temporary. Then I decided that SCREW IT! I may have extra padding, but it frikkin' suits me! I may be a little wobbly, but I rock!

    Never diet. You'll just be miserable for as long as you endure it, then end up depressed because you discovered it's not enjoyable living on 2 calories a day! As long as you're not actually overweight, just learn to love yourself. It's a love-hate relationship, but I've embraced my wobbly bits (of which there are plenty!)


  41. I loved this post so much I actually read ALL the comments and I never do that if theres more than ten!

    It was interesting to see a lot of readers are like me - skinny their whole lives, now suddenly struggling with ten or fifteen lbs. I am 5'1 so as Gropius above says, ten or fifteen is a lot on a tiny person.

    I'm by no means fat and I know that - but I do feel uncomfortable in my body most days. Mostly because I gained it all around my middle, making my clothing fit badly.

    I lost ten lbs last summer to go to Aruba. I did Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred quite a bit. It works. But you know what? Any exercise program works if you do it EVERY day.

    Right now I am just trying to stay fit. Instead of focusing on a "goal weight" my goal is just to spend 20 minutes of my day every day exercising. Currently thats on the treadmill. And it's not even close to every day. But I feel better about myself when I do it.

    Great post.

  42. Hopefully I inherited my mom's genes. She is a tiny thing. I do like to bake and eat but I run or workout almost every day so I can do that...lets hope I also keep that in balance. lol.

    I love that you referred to it as your "fighting weight."

  43. If only we could take a magical pill to just drop off the unwanted weight. But unfortunately, that isn't possible. We have to work at it. Hard. And I haven't worked at anything hard in years. I have to get my mind set first, and that is the HARDEST part.

    It helps to be almost blind without my glasses. THAT'S when I look in a mirror!

  44. Well.....I'm fat! All this talk of up to 20 pounds, is giving me the blues. I could stand to lose 70! I guess I'm just not that concerned with it. Being over weight all my life keeps me from stressing over new wieght gain or the occassional pound or two loss.

    I wish you luck on your goal.


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