The Shame Of Careless Whispers


Daily Prompt: Careless Whispers

It all starts with an idea. A mischievous idea seed that germinates into a malicious thought and as it grows, poisons the thinker. Who knows where this seed comes from. It may have already been there with many others, inside the thinker. It may have been placed there unbeknownst to the thinker. This thought would do harm only in its thinker’s head and little else, but for the fact it is let out.
The thinker has a group of acolytes that hang on every word. Much amused by the cleverness of this blossomed concept rooting in their mind, the thinker feels compelled to share the toxic fruit of the tree. The acolytes feast on the venomous fruit, which in turn settles its seed in their minds spreading the innocuous infection.
Now the thinker and the acolytes gleefully make and drink juice from the noxious fruit. They revel in its decadence and encourage others to partake. The juice of the fruit is sweet to those that spread it and a bitter acid to the victims it’s poured on. If a cup is offered, the punishment for not drinking is to be targeted as a victim. No one wants to be the focus of this group and their evil. So you drink and laugh and agree. You alienate and tease and taunt.
The sufferer has no recourse. The sufferer cannot share in their own torture. The sufferer can only hope for the day the cult will substitute them with someone else. In the meantime, they cower in fear, mired in the loneliness of their pain. Someday they will be free from the circle. It’s a temporary moment in time. But the hours are long and the days float by ever so slowly.
Strength is not a limitless resource. Treading water can not be maintained endlessly. Soon enough, gravity and currents take their toll. Resistance becomes less worth the effort. Then you just let go.


Battle With The Bathroom Scale

Hiding around the corner of the doorway, I gulp three big breaths before I lunge at the bathroom door knob. That scale won’t know what hit it! Actually, it will. The scale always does. It’s going to tell me exactly how much I hit it with too, regardless of my approach. Every time I think I’ve finally become an expert in guerrilla warfare sneak attack tactics on my bathroom scale, it schools me again. That smug bastard.

But it’s not my fault, honest! It taunts me with it’s knowing silence, goads me with it’s haughty stares. I try to avoid looking at the scale. It’s tucked away, standing on its edge in a nook beside the toilet. I only get a small side view, but it’s enough for the scale to hover maliciously over my existence.

Everyday, the desire to know what the damage has been for my disastrous eating habits builds exponentially until I can’t take it anymore. I succumb to my curiosity and my feelings get hurt. Defeated, yet again. How did this condition get so bad?

A couple of years ago I thought I had gotten a handle on this weighty situation. Cataloging that transformation was the main purpose of this blog. I was determined to become healthier. Eating better, exercising and all the related good things were going to be absorbed into my life and everything was going to be wonderful. That sentiment went down the drain faster than contraband during a drug raid.

So here I am, several years and hundreds of restarts later. Relapses have happened so often, they have been worked into the plan. Which plan? Whatever the diet plan du jour is. It may sound like I’m ready to give up the struggle, buy some colorful moo moos and settle in with Costco-sized meals to help me fill them in. Hold onto that thought and file it in the back. I like the idea but I don’t think I’m done trying. The fat lady singing won’t be me. At least not anytime soon.


I’ll Get Back To You Soon


Daily Prompt: Back On the Chain Gang

I’m a procrastinator. There, I admitted it. As long as I can get away with it, I will put off doing a distasteful task until the last possible moment. This goes for just about anything in any aspect of my life. Regardless of how awesomely beneficial the result can be for me, I still drag my feet like I’m walking with magnet shoes on over the world’s biggest refrigerator. 

Of all the things I dislike doing (there are a ridiculous amount), I strongly dislike using the telephone. Strangely, I remember enjoying hours of chatting on the phone with the few pals I had as a socially awkward, introverted and nerdy teen. I’m not sure when or how that changed over the years. Now, using a telephone to me is as repulsive as finding a water bug in the tub. All I want to do is smash it to bits with the plunger, wearing rubber gloves of course because it’s icky. 

During the course of a normal workday, avoiding the telephone becomes very difficult. At work, the awful contraption rings mercilessly all day long. Somebody has to answer it and I find myself praying constantly it won’t be me. My hand creeps ever so slowly towards it in the hopes some other fool is faster than me. Sometimes the gamble pays off, sometimes I lose miserably. Being caught ignoring a call by a supervisor is the worst, so I usually find a way to quickly pass any call I can to one of them as payback. 

The other horror in having telephones around is having to MAKE calls. Oh the dread that rises like vomit from a drinking binge when there’s a problem with the toilet, the cable is on the fritz or (yikes) it was mom’s birthday yesterday. Whoa is me. Now I have to make nice and be polite. Maybe kiss a little tukhus. Or turn into Ms. Irate Customer and kvetch until whatever issue is derailing my Saturday night true crime viewing gets repaired (oops, I went all Jewish grandma there for a second). 

What’s funny is how easily I took to texting, unlike others of my -ahem- generation. Bar none, it’s become my favorite form of communication. The quick pinging back and forth of a text conversation appeals to me in a way that I can’t understand. It’s satisfying. I like it. Although inferring emotion from texts proves to be difficult at best and even downright nonexistent, I’m willing to give that up for the ease of the text message. I can hold multiple conversations at once? Great! Carefully word responses and then review before sending? Sold! Amazing, the magic of modern technology. 

So if you give up on the ringing because I take too long to answer, keep in mind my shortcomings. My terribly controlled procrastination tendencies coupled with my aversion to telephones is a deadly combination to social interactions. I am fully aware of my duty as social etiquette dictates to return your call promptly. Unfortunately, I can’t help myself. I’ll apologize via text.

Exercise? Let’s Get Physical. Really.

Exercise seems to be part and parcel with diet when is comes to losing and managing weight. It’s the only component in any weight-loss plan that does not change across the board. Regardless of what diet is chosen to be followed, exercise still has to be a part of the plan so any goals set can be reached.

Aerobic exercise and I have never really been good friends. Although we used to hang out together a lot whenever I would go dancing, lately its been like that acquaintance that you try to avoid seeing because she’s loud, obnoxious and embarrassing but everybody you know keeps telling you how she’s so awesome once you get to know her and you should see her more often. Total guilt trip because you’re the asshole who can’t see the awesomeness yet. Unfortunately, once again time and age has curtailed the frequency and vigorousness of my aerobic activities. There are so many aches and pains that bloom as the years pass by. Sometimes, its just the fatigue of the daily grind that gets ya down.

Strength training, on the other hand, hasn’t even been a remote aquiantance. We kinda nod an acknowledgment when we pass each other in the halls but like that co-worker you bump into when using the employee restroom, we’ve never been formally introduced. The few times I’ve used a gym (keyword: FEW) I’ve steered clear of those medieval torture chamber looking contraptions. There’s just too high a likelyhood of humiliation due to a horribly gone wrong usage attempt. I can’t take that gamble. It always seems to be a select group of people in a special club that know exactly how to manuver and fully utilize those machines to the fullest extent. Someday maybe I’ll be motivated enough to make an effort of infiltrating the secret society of weight machines without seriously hurting myself or someone else. Until then, if I venture into a gym, I’ll just stick to the fun times on the cardio machines. Whoopee.

Sugar Is Not My Kryptonite

Chocolate, cookies, cakes, pies, tarts…sounds sexy doesn’t it? Are you drooling yet? Ooey gooey sugary dessert treats are all dreamily wonderful concoctions and the downfall to many well-intentioned diet efforts. Desserts look so pretty and smell delicious, making it so incredibly hard for many to resist sticking your face in them. Except for me. Luckily, sugar is not or has ever been my kryptonite.
Popular belief is that baked goods and sweets in general are specially irresistible to women. Most of the blame gets placed squarely on the shoulders of our naturally flunctuating hormonal cycles. Commercials for anything from diet products to clothing stores use that premise as the basis of their message the way they use hot chicks and sexual innuendos to sell all sorts of things to men.
Somehow, I was lucky enough not to develop much of a sweet tooth. Now, let me be clear. I’m not saying I would never partake of such things (just in case anyone would like to gift me some tiramisu, wink). I’m just saying I can easily say no thank you and mean it when a giant lump of double chocolate cake is shoved in in front of my pie hole without thinking twice about it.
The only exception to that rule is alcohol. I have no problem drinking my calories. The frothier and sweeter the drink the better! It is definitely a hardship for me to turn down an offered glass from a freshly made pitcher of sangria. Ok, that actually never happens. Ever.
Way back, about thirty pounds ago pina coladas were one of my favorite drinks, along with many other frozen happy juices. When I found out how much sugar and calories I was ingesting in three or four of those, there was a lot of pearl clutching, praying to the heavens and forswearing all of them to my dying day. That, of course, didn’t last long. I still enjoy them every once in a while. However, they are no longer my go to drink of choice. I’m not sad about it or feel deprived…anymore. Sort of. Ok, maybe a little.
Fine, I sob violently inside as my heart breaks when I see some skinny chick sucking on a strawberry daiquiri and I’m sipping my crappy vodka and club soda. There, are you happy now?! Dammit.

Fueling My Get-Up-And-Go, Coffee Is An Addiction :(

The Caribbean Latin culture has long been steeped in sugar cane and sugar production, which tends to facilitate, and dare I say encourage, the consumption of coffee. Dominicans drink coffee all day long, morning noon and night. A “cafecito” is a panacea for all possible ailments and/or celebrations. We, as a culture, really love our coffee.

Apparently, among Dominicans, giving coffee to children was quite prevalent and not frowned upon at all. Kind of like how they also give “just a little” alcohol to teething or colicky babies with nary a second thought just to shut them the hell up. Sugar also is integral in the production of rum so that may be why its culturally acceptable to booze up the kiddies. We all know how that works out. Drunken hordes of Dominicans partying non-stop, I’m looking at you!

My introduction and subsequent addiction to caffeine began at an early age, according to American standards, because of my grandmother. When I was a tiny tot my maternal grandmother was my babysitter. During her relaxing afternoon cup of coffee she would usually pour a small amount onto the saucer for me to share in the moment with her. It was such a tasty treat and before I knew it I was hooked. Now I can’t survive without all of my daily café con leches. Having either a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts on every corner doesn’t help and feeds my addiction, making it impossible to quit.

There have been many occasions I have decided to cut down on my daily coffee intake. Only one time did I ever attempt quitting coffee cold turkey. That was the most miserable 48 hours of my life! Health-related news reports often flip-flop on the health benefits or dangers associated with caffeine, as with most other items in your local supermarket touted as stealthy killers or the next cure-all. I’m proud of myself that it’s no longer four cups of coffee daily and I’m down to two cups. Let’s see how long I can keep that up. I’ve also been able to gradually reduce the amount of sugar I use in coffee. Not that I was ever a real sugar freak but I figure the less of that nasty business the better.

Greetings and Farewells

Well, here we are at last and it’s about time. I finally just closed my eyes and hit that enter button. I’m glad you are here with me as I finally take the plunge and undertake this journey into the popular world of “get thee healthy!” that most people are immersing themselves into, trudging along in the perpetual quest for a better quality of life. Although for some time I have had a mild interest in wellness and health, there are several issues that have prevented me from really exploring those interests in a fuller degree.

First and foremost is my borderline unhealthy love of food. Mainly rich foods. Like cheese. My love for cheese is almost to the point of being obscene and pornographic. Sadly, I’m getting mildly aroused right now typing this as I’m thinking about cheese. Then there’s bacon. Let me not even get started on bacon. Bacon is ambrosia from the gods. Everyone knows it’s the most delicious confection ever created! It makes me feel all soft and quivery like Jell-O on the inside. ANYWAY, as I was saying, I really enjoy cooking and eating. Its been several years now that I can afford to indulge the tickling of my taste buds. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of tickling. In fact, as my income rose, concurrently I added about 30 extra pounds of fat through a lot of “innocent” taste bud titillations.

The other issue is my semi-sedentary lifestyle. As a youngster I was quite nerdy, partaking of a lot of minimally social activities such as reading and playing video games. It was all fine and dandy while I was very thin and my metabolism was sky high. Then, as I got older (of course), things began to slow dowwwwn without me realizing it. Quite recently and all of a sudden, it dawned on me. You can’t eat the ridiculous amounts of crappy food you’ve been used to and still fit into your super hot and sexy jeans that you spent hundreds of dollars on because they’re so cool, hip and trendy even though maybe you’re a tad too old to wear them but that old ass celebrity Blah Blah can get away with it since she’s famous. Most definitely not if what you call “aerobic exercise” is to go shake your booty once or twice a week while consuming frothy alcoholic drinks that each have the caloric content of a Big Mac. Sadly and to my dismay, bliss in ignorance just won’t work.

Now, as middle-age looms darkly before me and way too close, I feel the criticalness and pressure to buck up and straighten out before I drop dead from clogged arteries and/or another nefarious disease I could of possibly prevented with a little care. Those nagging thoughts bring me here. To you and this venue of expression. I look forward to sharing my journey. Hopefully, my stumbles will mean something to someone out there. At the very least, I can document that I made an attempt not to expire by my own devices…or vices.