Archive for the ‘Weighing in on…’ Category

Weighing in on…Fatter by Batter

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Look – I like batter.

Cookie batter. Apple bread batter. Brownie batter. Pancake batter. The whole batter family, really.

Thing is, I don’t have a wicked sweet tooth. I simply prefer the batter of a treat-in-process to the finished delight.

And this doesn’t stop at sugar or flour-based mush. I also enjoy the savory succelence found in a crock pot of chili, or tomato sauce, or fiber-rich porridge, for crying out loud. I just like to sample the mess, taste the work in progress, season as needed, experience the metamorphosis of a bunch of singular ingredients becoming something grander and more delish than they ever knew they could be.

Unfortunately, as a fat person, I’m supposed to avoid life’s batter altogether. The recommendation is always the same: Shove a stick of gum in your mouth, trust the recipe, and put dish detergent in all containers and all over the mixing tools as soon as they’ve served their pragmatic purposes.

That means no twisting my tongue around mixer spokes to lick a little mashed potato. No dragging my finger along the sides of a bowl to scoop up some buttery cookie dough. No sampling the stew, dinging the dip, or plunging into the parma rosa before it’s fulfilled its destiny as a rouge for rigatoni.

But…but…that really, really sucks!

Do skinny cooks really skip this luscious rendevous their culinary masterpieces?

Do lean and lithe gourmateers voluntarily reject the intimate and savory sampling only found in the world of BLTs? (That’s “Bites, Licks, ‘n Tastes,” for those who’ve never done Weight Watchers.)

Are there BLT Anonamous meetings for those of us who are overly fond of in-transit concoctions?

Heck, I can’t go to my son’s tee-ball game without salivating when I hear the coach yell, “Batter up!” And yet, if I want to go kayaking without having to worry about capsizing the vessel, I’m told I have to forsake any and all thick, gooey, drippy, yummy, uncooked and underappreciated edibles.

Dang, dang and triple dang.

Looks like I better stock up on some duct tape with skin-friendly adhesive.

Weighing in on…Monday Mornings

Monday, January 8th, 2007

Okay, so there’s New Year’s Day, the annual blip of hope and new beginnings for Fatties the world over.

Then we have the seasonal anniversaries of resolve and renewal, like “Yikes! Bathingsuit Season’s Just Around the Corner!” Day (May), and “Help! I’m the Size of a Woman in Labor!” Day (September).

Then we have the most universal and ubiquitous collective conscious experience for Fatties, hands down:


Fifty-two times every year. No exceptions.

The food oopsies of the weekend have come and gone. The party’s over. It’s a new week. Either the kids are back at school, the work week has begun, the regular primetime TV schedule is back in full swing, or some combination of the three.

Whatever the individual triggers are, the outcome’s the same. A nausea-like wave of realization slaps us in the flub and tells us it’s time to buckle down, get serious, and shed some pounds.

Ambitious exercise regimens course through some of our brains. Weekly meal planning is the go-to rite of passage for others.

Details aren’t as important as understanding this:

Every female – and I do mean EVERY female – with any unwanted chub on her skeletal structure whatsoever, considers some kind of diet or weight loss regimen on Monday mornings.

There’s a theatrical sweep of the psychological slate. Inner monologues are channeled as drill sergeants, knuckle-whipping nuns, and broad-shouldered, square-jawed women named Helga.

“That’s it. I’m serious this time.”

“No more messing around. Let’s do this thing.”

“I am never eating anything but cabbage, celery, and fiber-infused cereal, ever again.”

“Two hours a day – 1000 crunches, five miles on the treadmill, full-circuit free weights, and a good 30 minutes on the bike, elliptical, or stairmaster, depending on my mood. No excuses.”

“How bad IS bulimia on my tooth enamel, really?”

Cookies are sworn off. Fast food is noted as the Devil’s poison, never to be touched. Gym memberships are recalled fondly.

The plan’s in place. The strategy is bulletproof. Fate as a skinny Minnie is signed, sealed, and just waiting to be delivered.

Breakfast’s are skipped. Fat clothes are scowled at and told they’re not long for their closets.

For those first few hours on Monday morning, women are proud and happy of themselves. There have been no slip-ups – no binges, no skipped workouts, no surrender to fried, salty lard sticks.

From 6am to 11am on Monday, Weighties everywhere are thinking, “This very well could be the first day of the rest of my flat-stomached life.”

And it could. Except for one, small thing.


And even if Tuesday keeps the same rules and momentum as a flawless, faithful, perfectly executed Monday – a feat of grand proportions! – then Wednesday has to come and go. And Thursday has that after-work networking thing. And Friday there’s dinner with the Swinsons, then brunch on Saturday, and your in-laws are coming over for dinner on Sunday, and they ALWAYS want bread, dessert, and wine, at the VERY least…

But thank heavens for Monday.

Monday – the day all diets and weight loss plans are possible, if only for one fabulous, fleeting jiffy.

(I’d write more, but it’s 11:10am right now. I have to go eat something before I pass out.)

Weighing in on…Waking Up Fat, Every Day

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Consciousness. Coming to. Transitioning from the cushion of slumber to the inescapable dread of day.

For me, hell begins as soon as my brain flips on. There’s a lightning fast inventory taken, a checklist that goes something like this:

-Alive? Check.

-Any noticeable, pre-motion pain? Usually nope, with the occasional yup.

-Still fat? You betcha.

Sunk into the thick mattress pillow, I feel the giant imprint of my flesh. Queen-size bed. I swear I’m half of it. Do skinny people thrive in full-size beds? If I can’t get a handle on my girth, will I have to upgrade to a king someday? Soon? Does my svelt husband have any room when we sleep? Or has he trained himself to balance on his side and work with a sliver of space for seven hours a night?

On the brave days, or the extra-self-loathing days, I actually feel the bulge of my tummy, hips, and thighs with my fingers. Poke, gloop, blop. Poke, glerp, pinch, ech. Are there really people who can’t pinch an inch of extraneous flub? What must that be like? I’ve got fistfuls to spare, all decorated with stretchmarks and cellulite.

I feel it all, and it weighs me down even before I set foot on the floor to feel it literally weighing me down. I’m in my mid-thirties, and I’m relatively healthy. Every month, every year I put on a pound or twenty, and this weight thing gets worse. I know this. I’ve tried to flip the cycle. Diets, “live-its,” trainers, exercise binges, weights, whole foods, no carbs, homeopathic pill-popping campaigns, and the worst remedy of all: HOPE.

These days, HOPE is a last resort. I’ve tried it before, and it’s always failed me. These days, the option of HOPE gets less accessible. I used to be able to summon all my strength (whatever strength I thought I had, anyway), do a “buck up little camper” like no one else, set a focused mind and a determined spirit onto the goal of conquering my weight issue once and for all, release the fact that I’ve said as much before and never succeeded, insist that the “real” time is destined so it might as well be today, and get excited about the prospect of all this “not me” stuff finally, FINALLY getting off of my beautiful, glorious, wonderful body once and for all.

But after you’ve failed so many times at the one thing that tortures you daily, hourly, and in virtually every waking moment, mustering such HOPE becomes as painful as the weight itself. By now, I’ve tried the gamut of approaches. I’ve watched others succeed so I know it *can* be done…just not by me.

Which then becomes the suckiest thing about it. People DO lose weight. People much larger than me. I see it all the time. I watch The Biggest Losers, the Oprah Winfreys, the makeover shows. Hundreds of pounds, *POOF*! All gone. And boy, do the newly-thin look HAPPY!

Then there’s My mom. My neighbor. My best friend. Eight pounds, 20 pounds, 50 pounds. I see it can be done. They’ve all done it. I just haven’t been able to do it. It’s not like walking on water, or pulling some high-fallutin’ David Blane stunt. It’s losing weight. People can do it. I haven’t been able to do it. Therefore, I suck.

Good morning, world.

And soon, I get the privilege of figuring out what to wear.

Oh, dear God, kill me now.

Weighing in on…Fat Sunday

Monday, November 27th, 2006

You’ve heard of Fat Tuesday, right?

Also known as Mardi Gras, it’s the hedonistic celebration before Ash Wednesday, which launches a month and a half of devout self-discipline before Easter Sunday. Fat Tuesday doth not know restraint. It’s the night when all rules are ditched, excess is in high fashion, freaks are out in full regalia, bingeing is king, and repercussions are far, far from anyone’s mind.

Well, there’s another five-day event that shares these same traits, but no one talks about it. It’s named after its final hurrah: Fat Sunday. It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Day One of the Fat Sunday experience is Prep Wednesday. Dips are mixed, desserts are whipped, potatoes are mashed, and the spoons and bowls assisting with these matters are scraped, slurped, and licked by Fatties all over America, including me.

Buttery, creamy, slathery treats, just waiting to be assembled. No guests are watching, just us Fatties in the privacy of our kitchens, thinking about the Yum Factor, about all the folks who’ll be digging into our delights, and how no one will be worrying about the calorie counts. 

As you know, Prep Wednesday rolls right into Permission-to-Gorge Thursday, better known as Thanksgiving. Most Fatties go dainty on breakfast – or skip it altogether! – thinking those 200-300 calories will take the edge off the 2,000-3,000 we’ll be consuming throughout the day. (It’s Fat Math.)

Blessed Mother of Gravy, but there’s a lot of eating to be done on Permission-to-Gorge Thursday! I’m surprised this day hasn’t inspired a niche industry of porto-vomitoriums. Even the veggies surrender, with carrots drenched in sugar and butter, appetizer celery sticks gunked with cream cheese and olives, and 20-pound bags of potatoes infused with as much thick richness as the USDA allows. And of course, there’s that little matter of the 20+ bird perched atop the table in its crisped-skinned glory.

Since more food is presented on Permission-to-Gorge Thursday than can be consumed by a tribe of 50-feet tall sumo wrestlers, the consumption fest spills into Leftover Friday, followed by Refridgerator Raid Saturday. Both days involve piling the same fatty foods into our systems over and over again, with Leftover Friday being an attempt to recreate the magic of the former day, and Refridgerator Raid Saturday being a desperate act to clear out the best goodies before other family members move in on our territory.  

At long last, we’ve come upon Fat Sunday.

One more day before the reset button, and before we discover our pants won’t button. By now, mega-consumption is not a joy but a habit. If we listen carefully, there’s a chain gang of Fatties chanting in the backs of our minds:

Oh, Lawd! Have mercy on my intestinal pain

I’m a sinner who never gonna get no thinner

Ain’t got nothin’ but a belly o’ jelly

And thighs the size of the Mississippi river

After 40 days and nights of rain!

This is the day when all Fatties must decide what gets thrown out and what gets gobbled up before the midnight deadline, cuz we simply can’t begin our work weeks with that same shovel-it-in mentality. After all, we Fatties already have issues with massive and swift weight gain when we think we’re behaving. All bets are off if that feeble exercise in moderation is taken out of the picture.

On Fat Sunday, there’s a slew of emotions battling it out. Panic. Dread. Sadness. Surrender. Regret. Numbness. And determination – to eat-eat-eat for one more string of 12-16 hours, before Monday’s wrath falls upon us.

So we do. Maybe there’s a party to go to. Or a brunch. Or a holiday parade in a nearby town, streets lined with treats and warm-hearthed specials for weary parade watchers.

Or maybe we just throw some sweatpants on, hope for a good movie or three, and finish the gastro-masochism we started.

Hey, it’s Fat Sunday, baby. What can ya do? And not so far back in our minds is the bigger realization of this hopeless day: It’s the launch of the holiday season, with parties and cookies, potlucks and eggnogs, festivities, fudge, and fruitcake golore.

For Fatties the world over, it’s the great white flag of surrender. If we couldn’t lose the weight for yet another year, we’re certainly not going to lose it during this last stretch. Sad, but true.

So on Fat Sunday, we mourn. It’s no fun being stuck in a fat suit. No fun at all.


“Maybe next year…” we stammer.

Yeah. Maybe next year.

But we doubt it.