Thursday, May 29, 2008

Crazy 8's

I feel incredibly flattered right now. Marni and Claudia have tagged me for a Meme. I love this stuff. SO much fun. Even though I don't really know what a Meme is or even how to pronounce it, I can throw myself whole-heartedly into this.

Eight Things for Which I Have a Passion:
This is, frankly, a life-long pursuit. I'm not sure I have a passion for eight things, but I'll wrack my brains and present you with the results.

1) I have a passion for being joyfully alive. I know that sounds incredibly generic and cop-outish, but it's true. I love the feeling of a deep breath, how I take the air in until my lungs sting from the stretch, and how the smell of the air always makes my heart feel a little fuller than it was a moment ago. I love how the feel of the wind on my skin and the sun on my head makes me grin like a drooling idiot. I love the sounds of traffic and kids screaming in their yards and parents laughing together and the smell of dinners cooking makes me feel. The energy of life is incredibly buoyant. Sometimes the joy of it makes me feel like I'm about to levitate.

2) I adore stories. In their myriad forms, I crave them. Movies, books, music, people; they're all just stories waiting for someone to love them. And I do.

3) I have a passion for learning. Most of the things I aspire to do directly involve learning. Languages, musical instruments, singing, dancing, cultures, painting, sculpture, business, travel; I just want to know EVERYTHING.

4) I passionately adore language, most particularly English. I have mentioned once or twice that talking is my favorite past time, and the fact that I will do it even when no one else is around. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. I talk to myself all the time. I love the process of finding out and saying exactly what I mean. I highly recommend this process to everyone. You don't know what something sounds like until you've said it out loud. Then you may find yourself thinking, "Hm. That's not exactly right. What's a better word for that?" It's an amazing thing to find out exactly what you mean by finding the exact right words to say it.

5) Food. But not just eating it. I like to play with it. I like to cook, bake, saute, fry and fricassee. I'll eat almost any kind of food with my hands (with the obvious liquid exceptions). The smells, the tastes, the textures, even the sounds associated with food prep makes me a little giddy.

6) My faith. I don't really think of myself as zealous or freakishly devoted, but my religion is the foundation of who I am. I love understanding the nature of God, and my place in the the grand (and not so grand) scheme of things. I love that the questions of who I am, where I came from, why I'm here, where I'm going and how to get there are all answered. I love that everything is my choice. I love that it doesn't conflict with logic or science, and that I'm expected to be thoughtful and active in both mind and body. I love knowing that my children will be mine long after we've all passed the portals of death, and that I will be a part of my family for all eternity. I love knowing how loved I am, that I will never be really alone, and that, no matter how small I am compared to the universe, I am completely unique and irreplaceable.

7) Music!! Music is such a power. It doesn't even need words. Words are a power in themselves, but they are only enhanced by music. It's like a direct line into emotion. So far, in my humble opinion, the power of music has been vastly untapped.

8) I am developing a passion for looking good. All the hair and make-up stuff that I refused to compete with my sister over lo, those many years ago, I am now taking an interest in. I don't think I'll ever be haute couture, but I see no reason why I shouldn't work up to my hotness factor. I'm hoping I'll know when I've reached it.

Eight Things I'd Like to do Before I Die:
I'm not sure I can restrict myself to a mere eight, but I shall endeavor--

1) I want to see the world. Travelling is a big dream of mine. If you want to know details, I will direct you to a previous post(go directly to the D answer) entry in which I spelled out, ad infinitum, the things I want to do.

2) I want to be un-fat. Not necessarily skinny, but just not fat. I want to not sit in my own lap. I want my arms to look like arms, not something that belongs on a meat hook in a butcher's freezer. I want to be able to buy Ann Taylor off the rack. Is that too much to ask?

3) Whale watching and swimming with the dolphins. I hear both can be life-changing experiences.

4) Become a Master gardener. I would love to have the know-how to create a verdant wonderland. *sigh* With my own raspberry bushes and peach trees.

5) See what my kids decide to be when they grow up. Seriously, I'm terribly excited to see what they do with themselves.

6) Hang-gliding. I think this is a much better sense of flight than skydiving. I don't like adrenaline. I like the more peaceful sensations.

7) Sail around the world. But only if they come up with a permanent cure for motion sickness, and the captain of the luxury yacht is hot.

8) Find my inner Warren Buffet and get stinking rich.

Eight Things I Say a Lot:
1) Cool
2) Right on
3) Who knew?
4) It's true, LeFou!
5) Apparently...
6) Curses!
7) Nuh-uh!
8) Who is this LeFou person you keep referring to?

Eight Books I Have Read Recently:
In the interests of interest, I'm going to just say some of my favorite books, because pretty much all I've read lately are textbooks, and I don't want people falling asleep on their keyboards. Trust me, it's hard to get the drool out from between the keys.
1) Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand. Fascinating premise, fantastic philosophies.
2) Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. Who doesn't love this story?
3) Anthem, Ayn Rand. What? She's really good!
4) The Hungry Girl Cookbook. So many yummy recipes!
5) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I love the innocence and magic of that first story.
6) The Charlie Bone series, Jennie Nimmo. It's a lot like Harry Potter, but enough different to keep things entertaining.
7) Eragon, Eldest and Brsinger, Christopher Paolini. These are awesome books, and the movie SO didn't do it justice.
8) The Leven Thumps books, Obert Skye and Ben Sowards. If you haven't read these, you must. I am anxiously awaiting the paperback release of The Eyes of Want. Squee!

Eight Movies I Have Seen Eight Times:
*snort* If you know me at all, you're going to realize how hard this is to narrow down. I watch movies A LOT.

1) Charley's Aunt (1932)
2) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
3) Pride and Prejudice (BBC)
4) On a Clear Day
5) Encino Man
6) Jupiter's Darling
7) The Great Race
8) Sleeping Beauty

Eight People Who Should, but are in no way obligated, Do This Meme:

1) Melain
2) Melissa
3) Beth
4) Jihan
5) This is where it becomes
6) Abundantly clear that
7) I don't have enough
8) Friends in the blogging world.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Only Pets I Have are Peeves

We all have them. Those ridiculous little things that really aren't a big deal, except that....they are. These are a few of mine in no particular order:
    Chewing with your mouth open. Honestly, is there anything more revolting than listening to someone masticate and watching the process happen in wet, flopping motions, while the tongue looks as though it's going to just push it all right back out onto the table? And I'm pretty sure it's not just a cultural thing, either. You know how in some cultures it's rude not to belch after a good meal? It's supposed to show appreciation (whatever!)but, to my knowledge, there isn't a single culture that doesn't find this habit repulsive. Bad grammar/spelling, and the use of fictional words (used as though they are real words), incorrect usage of words and ....You know, let's just simplify this and say Bad English. Ok. Spelling isn't as big a deal, as a general rule. As long as I get what's trying to be said, I can usually let it pass without too much annoyance, but with the advent of spellcheck, the really egregious errors are mostly avoidable. Grammar is a different thing. Truly, you should not be able to graduate if you don't know the difference between 'your' and 'you're'! If you can't even spell college, you shouldn't get to go until you can! And for the record:
      1.Orientated is NOT A WORD. It's oriented. 2. Neither is mis-chiev-I-ous. The correct pronunciation is (phonetically) miss-chiv-us. There is no I. I've corrected several of my ENGLISH teachers on this one. 3. The 'T' in often in silent. Just like it is in soften. Do you use sof-TENNER? I think not. 4. I saw a question recently that nearly made my head explode. It said, and I quote, "Have you ever road the subway?" First of all, road. ROAD?!?! SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?! And secondly, do people not understand tenses anymore?! 5. It is should have, not should of. What sounds like should of is, in fact, a contraction of should have and looks like this: SHOULD'VE. 6. The correct use of the word nauseous almost never happens. A thing that is nauseous causes the sensation of nausea. When you feel the sensation of nausea, you are nauseated. If you say you feel nauseous, you are saying that you are making everyone around you feel nauseated. Pretty sure that's not what ya meant to say! 7. Punctuation and capitalization are important. I don't care for this style of typing that looks like this- i totally think that yeah huh okay do you wanna u no? This is not language. This is laziness. I do not text for the simple reason that I refuse to be an accessory to the murder of the English language. 8. Another made-up word: BOUGHTEN. Not real, people. Not real.

When people speed up to pass you, like they can't stand being behind your slow-pokery for one more second, only to slow down to 10 mph BELOW the speed limit once they get in front of you. I do not understand this behavior. Either you're in a hurry or you're not. 100 yards should not change that! When I pass someone, I pretty much leave them in the dust. I DO NOT SLOW DOWN.

The contention that people do not cause reality, they merely reflect it. Oh, please! The media is particularly guilty of this one, as are many artistic communities. To say that art merely reflects life without influencing it is patently absurd. In fact, I'll call it what it: STUPID. The things you put out into reality have an a effect on it. It's a cycle. To say anything else smacks of a desperate desire to squirm out of responsibility for our part in creating the particular lousiness of any reality. For example, violent movies and games DO encourage violence in reality, because they make a person comfortable with the idea of it. And that is the first step toward becoming comfortable with the reality of it.

When people say reject a solutionbut have no other feasible solutions to offer (i.e., "War is not the answer") . Oh, war sucks, don't get me wrong. But it's not inherently evil and is actually a very effective tool. There are things that are worth dying for. If you have nothing in your life you would die for, you have not sufficiently opened yourself to living. In short, unless you have a well thought out option that has a chance of succeeding in the reality we currently inhabit, then either say you haven't thought it through, or keep it to yourself.

Ruffles on Plus-Sized bathing suits. Now honestly, what is that supposed to accomplish? Yeah, let me add an extra yard of bunched up fabric at my hips! That'll camouflage 'em!

Along this same line, when people dress in clothing that doesn't fit them. I'm sure we've all noticed this trend. Boys wear clothing that they could fit four of themselves into and girls wear stuff that they can fit half of themselves into. I have seen more upper glutes than I ever wanted to. If your body billows out from where your clothes stop, they're too small. Try the next size up. Conversely, if you can't even find a body part in all the yardage, your clothes are too big. I promise you guys, nothing says loser like aguy who looks like he buys his clothes from the Biggest Loser's Before shop.

Okay, that's it for now. I'm really not a raving lunatic. I just have these few little quirks. What about you, bloggers? What are your most treasured annoyances?

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Note from HRM*

To the citizens of the United States of America and John Monahan, from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. Look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour', 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise'. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary'). I will also arrange alphabet lessons so you understand that O is not a number and therefore does not replace ZERO - a number.
3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as 'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let M*crosoft know on your behalf. The M*crosoft spell- checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.
4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists.
The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without
suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
7. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
8. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
10. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
11. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
12. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body Armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try Rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.
13. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America . Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
------ -----------
15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
16. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God save the Queen.

*(This is an e-mail I got from my friend Katie. I have no idea who wrote it, but it made me laugh and I wanted to share. I also have no idea who John Monahan is, so if any of you bloggers would care to enlighten me, I'd be much obliged.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sqeak-Squeakety Squeak Squeaken

Ahem. I have been informed in no uncertain terms(cough*Claudia*cough) that I am to update my blog. You see, the unfortunate part lies in the fact that I have nothing to say! So, I hereby announce my first BlogStorm. I need ideas people! Give me something to spark off of! HELP ME!!! Otherwise I fear you will be subjected to tales involving my personal health and all it's little vagaries and woes.

I have been sick for the past 10 days.(Hey, I warned you!) I will not call it anything as mundane or benign as a cold. No. It's been far too mean for that. I have been coughing up lungs, and am even now working on coughing up my spleen. (I am nothing if not ambitious.) The entire left side of my head is plugged, which means my ears, too, and it has done very odd things to my already precarious relationship with gravity. My left arm keeps going icy/numb at the oddest intervals. I think all the coughing has impinged on a nerve. It's a truly disconcerting sensation to feel as though your skin doesn't actually belong on your body anymore. Very disconcerting.

But I am prodigiously proud of myself for several reasons. The first, and most important, is that I showered every single DAY. That's huge. HUGE, I say. And after that, I managed not to fall behind in any of my school work. I have written a memo, started a first draft for my final project in Technical Writing, read about 300 pages of economics materials, written a paper analyzing the causal elements of an argument for my English Comp class, finished 2 weeks of work for my accounting class, written a letter of application and a resume for my technical writing class (Which I am going to use to try to get a real job in accounting with the city. Squee! Fingers crossed!)and all of this I have done in 5-10 minute increments, as the whole inner-ear thing has made uprightness a thing of intense nausea and dizziness. So, five minutes up, 10minutes down, and so on. I can hear your jealousy. Can you see why I'm so proud of my hygiene?!

Ok. Unless you want more Chronicles of Whinia, give me something to work with. Throw me a frickin' bone, here, people!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

For the Cause!

Apparently today is Bloggers Unite for Human Rights Day. I learned this at Blogtations. Who knew such a thing existed? Well, my little bloggity friends, I'm here to do my part.

But first I have a question. What are human rights? What does that even mean? The image that comes to mind in this, the modern age, when the phrase "Human Rights" is invoked, is of a subtle, caustic cocktail of guilt for our plenty, blended with a dash of pity for those who lack said plenty(whether they feel that lack or not).

To me, your rights as a human being are spelled out clearly in our divinely inspired Contitution (and yes, I believe that God had a hand, possibly an entire arm, in that). You have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    1.You have the right to be alive, and to fight to stay alive if there is a threat.

    2.You have the right to make choices unfettered by the whimsical dictates of a lord, leige or power-mad crown, and..

    3.You have the right to use your brain to apply your value system in the determining of that which will make you happy, and then make choices commensurate with the achieving of that goal.

HOWEVER..... that said, you DO NOT have the right to pursue it at the expense of others' rights. You DO NOT have the right to break the law in your pursuit. You DO NOT have the right to escape the consequences of your choices in said pursuit.

What about having a Bloggers Unite for Human Responsibility Day?

It seems that every time I turn around there is someone trying to feed me that caustic cocktail, and you know what? I just don't swallow it. In response to a couple of the quotations found at Blogtations (and other sites) today:

    1. It does not even occur to me to feel guilty for having enough food to eat, or having enough food to feed my children. What I feel is grateful.

    2. I do not feel sorry for the detainees in Guantanamo. They are held in relative safety and comfort, fed well, sheltered and allowed to practice the tenets of their faith. With the notable exception of blowing other people to bloody bits. I'll save my compassion for their victims.

    3.I do not believe that universal health care is a right. I don't even think it's a good idea.

    4.I do not believe it is the Federal governement's job to care for the individual. They are supposed to be looking at the bigger picture; the country as a whole. Communites are supposed to care about individuals.

Now this is not to say that I don't feel compassion for the people who are being hunted down like animals and slaughtered just because of their tribal names. I feel sorrow approaching pain for the countless children who are orphaned because of AIDS, genocide and other atrocious and highly preventable things. It breaks my heart to see child starving to death, or murdered by its own parents because it was the wrong gender. It lights a fire in my belly to see women treated as less important than cattle. But they are there and I am here. I donate to charitable organizations. I teach my children to be of service to those around them and offer not judgement, but love. And I pray.

To me, the whole human rights fight boils down to one question: What is the character of mankind, as a whole? There will always be those for whom power, control, domination and cruelty are the greatest ambition. Evil has ever existed, and will ever. And then there will be the rest of us, who stand in our little corners of the world and do daily battle against whatever evil we come across. And as long as each of us does that, the goodness of mankind will triumph.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Love Letter to My Mommy

I love you this much!

Dear Mommy,

I wish I were better at words. I wish you knew how proud I am of you, and how much I admire you. You have always been an amazing example of love, strength, honor, and service. You're the smartest person I know. Heavenly Father sure knew what He was doing when He sent me to you. You are an anchor for me in so many ways. As I get older and have a clearer view of life, I realize just how strong and brave and true you have been. It makes me ashamed of my smallness, but it also encourages me to grow and become more. You've been doing that all my life.

You have been my safe place for so long. I don't think I've ever told you how much that has meant to me, or how many times you've gotten me through whatever mess I've embroiled myself in. When I talk to you, you always remind me that, despite my penchant for borrowing trouble and panicking over the absurd, I am a normal person. And you like me. That's the most amzing part. I could kick myself for missing out on all the years when we could have been the kind of friends we are now becoming. It makes my heart smile to see you happy. Maybe someday I'll have that kind of relationship with my kids. I hope so. As for now, when they grumble that I "sound just like Amah", I smile and think. "Great! I'm doing something right!"

Everything I hold dear in my life I have because you either gave it to me, helped me hang on to it, or taught me the skills I needed to get it. You've been my biggest cheerleader and support, always accepting me and loving me no matter what (and there has been a lot of what). And now I hope to be able to offer at least a small portion of that back to you. I love you, Mommy. Thank you for my life.


Monday, May 5, 2008

The Joy of Exercise and Healthy Eating(aka,The Big Lie of the Fitness Industry)

As you may have guessed from my last post and this one, I am trying to get healthy and lose "The Weight". (Hey, when something has been a part of you for this long, it deserves to be capitalized.) Now, this is not, in and of itself, unusual. In fact, my 13 year old gave me an odd look last week and said, "You do this. About once, twice a year, you do this." I was forced to agree. (My kid's a smart cookie! And observant!) But I did feel the need to try to score some parenting points pull some great life lesson out of my abject failures previous attempts by pointing out that what really mattered was that I was still trying. This fitness thing is a tough gig!

I'm not exactly complaining, mind you. I had (mostly) prepared myself for the fact that I wasn't going to lose a ton of weight in a phenomenally short period of time. I knew that. And I was okay with it. It's just that it can be a tad disheartening to have your weight seemingly fluctuate by as much as four pounds in the same day. It makes me question the validity of my scale. But then I figure, who really cares? Even the highest numbers are way lower than they used to be. And I feel the need now to see if I can do this. I've scented the challenge, and I really want it. Badly.

Oh, I know we all say that we want to be slim and healthy, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. I know myself! If I had really wanted this sooner than now, I'd have had it sooner than now. I think most people get exactly what they want, because the human will is fundamentally unbeatable. It then becomes a matter of admitting that what you have is indeed what you want. I finally did that. I gave myself permission to be fat, if that's what I needed to be. And I worked through several subconscious fears regarding what and who I would become without my friends, the fat cells, to guard and shelter me. These things allowed me to just be okay with me. And once I was okay with me, I didn't need the protection anymore. It's a marvelously empowering feeling, I gotta say. That said, I have a major problem with the "Fitness" Industry.

What I would like to see happen, is for the fitness lies, or more specifically the weight loss lies, to stop. For the first time in years I feel a little better when I exercise, instead of feeling sick to my stomach all day long. I don't care what those fitness freaks claim. When you're heavy, exercise DOES NOT make you feel better. In fact, it actually makes you feel worse. I wish they would just tell you that. Otherwise it's a huge mental blow, and you feel like you must be doing something wrong so you give up. But if you just tell people, "Look, you're gonna feel like crap for a good two months (or longer, depending on how much weight you have to lose). That's the way it is. You are going to be hungry while you relearn how to eat reasonable portion sizes. You are going to have headaches and stomachaches while your body goes through withdrawal from all the sugar, caffeine and fat you've been consuming(and from having to think so hard about something used to seem so simple, i.e. You like = you eat). You are not going to get the same kind of enjoyment from your food, because it's going to be a different kind of food. You will have to retrain yourself to enjoy the new stuff. This will take time. You are going to hurt and gasp and cry while you force your body to do things it hasn't had to do in many a moon, if ever. This is not a pleasant or fun process. It does not become pleasant or fun until you are almost done with this procees. Once you're at the maintenance stage, THAT'S when it becomes fun. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Enjoyment creeps up on you during the procees. The longer you go on, the more enjoyment you get. But fun? No."

The thing all the fitness freaks don't seem to get is that it doesn't get fun until you are where they are(and I'm reasonably sure that most of them have NEVER been where I am, so their perky reassurances are annoying and make me feel condescended to). Personally I think there should be some sort of law that states that you are not allowed to put out an exercise video or teach a class (for weight loss purposes)unless you have once been fat. And I mean FAT. More than just a 5 measly pounds fat. You have to be over 30 pounds fat. That's the law! And you have to have your before picture up in poster size where we can see it and know that you really are one of us, and that you totally understand and sympathize with why we're crying in the back corner in our jet black burka exercise wear.

News Flash! Exercising is fun. But it's a lot more fun when it doesn't feel like your femur is going to do a pile drive on your knee! Push-ups are a great esteem booster----- once you've gotten to the point where touching your chin to the floor doesn't involve parting the Red Sea of belly fat to do so, or make you ask if it matters which chin touches, or worse leave you stranded, high-centered on your belly in your living room as you rock back and forth in a vain attempt to get up again. But until you reach that nirvana of body dimensions screaming at you from every media outlet, it's all just painful and humiliating! I think there should be an equivalent to a Purple Heart for overweight people who exercise at the gym.

My whole point here is that, armed with this mighty truth, you're a whole lot more likely to stick it out. If it's what you were expecting, it's not nearly as big a deal. So, gurus, stop trying to make healthy eating and exercise sound all kinds of appealing when it just isn't, at least at the beginning. Honest forthrightness and realism from you will get a much more honest, long-standing effort from me. And I'll be a whole lot less likely to take vicious satisfaction in your cellulite along the way.