Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dog Days of Dieting

This is my dog, Cooper.  Yes, he is wearing a Snuggie, a Christmas present from my sister Annie, who loves this dog so much she'd probably give him a kidney if he needed one.  Yes, he is also wearing sunglasses, which he kept on for a half an hour.  Oh, and yes, he is laying on my coffee table.  Obviously, he is impeccably trained and quivers at the sound of my voice.

Yesterday, I was driving to Costco with my friend Lisa and I mentioned my strongly-held belief that if life was fair, guacamole would be a health food and not have 8500 calories in it.  I argued it only made sense that it should be good for you, as avocados grow on trees.  Horticultural studies are obviously a passion of mine.

Lisa said avocados are good for you, blah blah blah.  I said I know the fat is healthy but they have so many calories you can't eat 4 of them at a time.  She looked at me, very confused, and said, "Why would you want to eat four avocados at one time?"  Then I remembered that I am weird and quickly changed the subject.

I can't control myself with certain food.  If there are cookies in the house, I can't do anything but think about those cookies.  The very idea of eating just two and putting them away is just foreign to me.  There was a time in my life when I tried to fight this fact, but it always ended in feelings of disappointment and piles of empty cookie boxes, so now I just don't buy any of that stuff.  Life is simpler that way.

You know who has a good diet strategy?  Cooper.  I envy him and really could learn a lot from him, which sounds crazy as he greets his peers by taking a hearty sniff of their anuses.  Every morning, I give Cooper 2.5 cups of food.  He usually eats half of it in the morning and then spreads the rest through the day.  Some days, he doesn't eat much at all and some days he eats all of it, but it is never like a cookie feeding frenzy when Cooper eats his food.  My dog is a smarter eater than me.  Heavy sigh.

Of course, he isn't perfect.  A few years ago, I had surgery and Coop stayed with my sister Annie for a month.  When she returned with him, I literally didn't recognize the fat little creature in front of me.  He had probably gained 20% of his body weight.  Annie was very apologetic and embarrassed but she admitted that she had been buying him chewy bones shaped like filet mignons, and that she had trained him to understand when she asked him if he'd like a bone in French.  From the size of his ass, Coop went through about 70 lbs of filet mignon bones when he stayed with my nerdy Francophile sister.  Filet mignon bones were to Cooper what cookies are to me.

He self-dieted, only eating occasionally for the next three weeks and was shortly back to his old size, because again, my dog has self-control that I will never understand.  Now, though, two years later, he will occasionally have a nightmare and start moaning and crying in his sleep, and I imagine he is remembering those bones and the pounds they added to his sleek and toned frame.

Or he could be remembering that he has an owner who dresses him in a Snuggie for Dogs and sunglasses.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sporty Spice

Well, the word is officially out and the world knows I am a klutz.  I think maybe part of me should be embarrassed by revealing that I am a doofus, but in my world, falling off a treadmill is nothing!  I fell while running up on stage during my 8th grade play.  That was much worse.  I had the coveted role of Nurse #17 in "South Pacific" and all eyes were on me as I sprawled across the stage.  Talk about wanting to wash something right out of my hair.  

I've also fainted multiple times in public, walked into a crowded classroom with my shirt tucked into my underpants in the back, fallen TWICE in the dining hall with full trays in college and wiped out on a ski hill while classmates were on ski lifts above making fun of me.  I walked directly into a swinging bat while spacing out playing baseball in my friend's backyard.  Ballerina-like poise isn't exactly something that has made me famous.

The good news is I am also a chicken, so I haven't attempted ski-diving, knife-juggling or lion-taming.  Any of these hobbies would probably lead to an interesting obituary for me, though.  "Chicago Woman Parasails Into Active Volcano."  I guess there's a positive side to everything!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Situation is Revealed

I have a startling confession to make:  I am not very glamorous.

The problem is that I was born at exactly the wrong time.  By the time I was a teenager, the glorious big-banged halcyon days of the 80s were over, replaced with flannel shirts and grungy hair.  Wham! jitterbugged out of popularity to be replaced by Nirvana and Pearl Jam, although NEVER IN MY PLAYLIST, FELLAS!!!  The 90s were a boring time for teen fashion and hair and make-up and I'm sorry, but that's just not fair.

On a typical day, I look very much like this:

 And for a while, that was just fine with me.  But in the last few months I've discovered a train wreck show on MTV where glamor and fine fashion and poufy hair are celebrated and treasured along with good laundry skills, a healthy orange glow and hours spent pumping iron.  Yes, I am of course talking about "Jersey Shore."

The show filled me with jealousy and regret over my teens and early 20s.  I have never gone out and done flips on the dance floor, revealing my thong.  I've never worn a shirt that could also double as dental floss or a headband.  And worst of all, after hearing the word on the show, I actually had to google to find out the definition of "juice head."  My entire life, I discovered, was sheltered and tragically empty.

Then I decided that it wasn't too late.  I too could live for glamor!  With the modern marvels of make-up and a flat iron and maybe a teensy bit of bronzer, I transformed myself into a divine creature that Snooki, Situation and Sammi Sweetheart would be proud to call a friend.

The best part was that my hair seemed to naturally form into a pouf, like Snooki's, no Bump-It required!

So far I haven't been in a fist fight or even a hot tub, and that's disappointing, but I have high hopes for what the future will bring.  Who knows?  Maybe someday I'll meet a juicehead gorilla to call my very own.  A girl can only dream!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is This Thing On?

Hello folks!  My mouth is much better now and I can't even begin to tell you how great eating solid food is after a month of eating only pudding and soup.  My Christmas dinner?  Mashed potatoes.  I think someone should have put green food coloring in there and molded it into the shape of a Christmas tree just to make the experience more festive.

Total weight lost on the no-fun no-chew diet:  17 pounds.  Total gained back since going a little overboard afterwards: roughly 8.

In other news, I ordered an elliptical machine from and am planning on quitting my gym.  I held off on doing this for so long because I have the opposite problem from the poor folks on "Hoarders" and I hate having any kind of clutter at all in my two-bedroom condo.  However, after a long winter of avoiding the gym because it's cold outside and I'd have to pay for parking and shovel my car out of a snow bank and any other excuse I could come up with, I decided the excuses have to stop.  If I have the thing taking up my precious, precious empty space, I know I'll use it.  The guilt alone from staring at the thing should motivate me to get my butt in gear.  Fingers crossed.

It should be delivered and set up this week, so if you hear a news story about a woman from Chicago who accidentally decapitated herself while trying a new exercise machine, that will be me.  Please let my family know I loved them and I went out doing something that I loved.  Oh who am I kidding?