Saturday, September 24, 2011

Carrot cake to carrot sticks

My bathroom scale and I had a fight this morning. I put up a good defense, even insulted its mother, but in the end I knew it was right. Especially in the end, judging by my shadow. I’ve gained weight. Thanks to a few seasons of unbearable weather, the blessing of steady work and the occasional absence of automotive transportation, my original 100-lb weight loss is now more like a 60-lb loss.

But hey, that’s ok. I took it off once, I can do it again. I’ll also do it more sensibly, and not make really stupid decisions like last time. On my second go-round, I’ve learned a few things:

Good Lord, ignore the commercials. “Follow my simple plan of cookies/bars/shakes and you’ll lose weight!” Yeah, and how does that re-enforce healthy eating habits? Or help me deal with stress eating?

“I’m not this person anymore!” *tears up photo* Honey, lean over here so I can slap the taste out of your mouth. You’re the same person, you just weigh less. If you hate yourself when you’re fat, there’s a good chance you won’t love yourself when you’re skinny.

Don’t diet. This was a major breakthrough for me. Dieting forces you to obsess about food. If you only eat certain things five times a day, you’re always thinking about food. After a couple of weeks, I would dream about food. Just sidle up sideways to better eating by making healthier choices. Occasionally try carrot sticks instead of carrot cake. A few baked chips instead of a bag of regular Ruffles. Don’t think about it, just say “Hey, it’s no big deal. I’ll have a salad just for today.” Keep making changes until your eating plan would make Michelle Obama cry like Miss America.

Realize this is a long-term commitment. Say this out loud to yourself: “There are no easy fixes.” Because there are none. You can get lap band surgery, but if you don’t follow the eating plan, you’ll be right back where you started. You can cut calories, but if you cut too much, your body will kick into survival mode.

Sure, you may fall off the horse, or horse may just buck your big butt off occasionally. Don’t get discouraged. It takes time to slim down, learn better habits and love exercise. In this instant, gotta-have-it-now world, people are so obsessed with losing weight fast. It’s not good for your body, and you don’t get the unbelievable pleasure from every accomplishment along the way. Don’t cheat yourself and miss out on the journey.

See you there.

Photo credit:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Adam Baldwin: Dream Saver

My two worlds of perceived reality and dreamtime have always had a dysfunctional relationship. I’ve had frequent nightmares since I was very young. Notice that I didn’t say I suffered from them. By having nightmares I taught myself lucid dreaming so I could change the dream to be less scary. This is how I turned a vampire into Sonny Bono, which, on reflection, might have been a lateral move.

Sometimes, though, I’m stuck in the dream with only a minor ability to control it. This happens a lot when I’m stressed or especially sad. When my mind just can’t take another beatdown, it assigns a protector. For some reason, lately that protector has been Adam Baldwin. (Steady, ladies, he’s dressed. I know. I was disappointed too.)

He usually appears in some role with the secret agent earpiece and a sidearm, although the weaponry depends on how bad a day I’ve had. I’ve seen him in so many shows and movies as the strong, aggressive type (Chuck, Firefly, Independence Day) that my psyche has waved the wand and made him a dreamtime Patronus kicking the butt of assorted werewolves, supervillians and nameless fears. Kinda cool, really, and a sign of the times: years ago, my dreamtime avatar of protection was Magnum, P.I.

I believe dreams are very important to writers. I get lots of story ideas from my dreams, and writing them down lets me take the emotional temperature of my week. Getting the occasional guest star who kicks butt for me is just icing on the cake.

Do you remember your dreams? Do you use them in writing? Who’s been your most recent guest star?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quickie Guide to the South

Good thing: I've been extremely busy on some writing projects lately. Bad thing: I haven't updated my blog in a while. So here's a quickie in between deadlines!

Four Things You Should Know About the South

1. Mimosa is a tree, not a drink.

2. Thongs go on your feet, not up your butt.

3. If someone looks at you and says, "Bless your heart," you should immediately review your manners and/or life choices.

4. There is no problem so great it can't be solved by duct tape, WD-40, Vicks VapoRub, pie or kisses. In fact, all those items are essential for an excellent honeymoon!