Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Here, Piggy Piggy

I am going to go out on a limb here and make an assumption: You have heard of the H1N1 flu, street name-Swine Flu. Unless you have been living off in a far distant cave with poor 3G coverage (what the hell is 3G coverage anyway) you have probably heard of all the awfulness of the swine flu, how to avoid it, how to get a vaccine and you may even know someone who has had it.

I know I have been hearing all sorts of things about the Swine Flu, except the one piece of advice I so desperately want: How Can I Catch the Swine Flu? Yes, you've read that correctly, I want the Swine Flu.

Before you start prattling off statistics and tell me about how people are dying and being quarantined because of the Swine Flu, which I now officially dub the Bacon Bug, give me a chance to explain.

I have lost 49 pounds. And only 49 pounds. I have been hovering at that blasted 50-pound mark for entirely too long, I get close, hitting 49.5 on the scale, then see that number dance on up the scale, putting my loss at 47 pounds. It's getting ridiculous and something needs to happen. I've considered shaving my head to get over that threshold, but realized it is an exercise in futility as hair grows back. I've also considered starting a one-week diet of Metamucil, prune juice and baked beans, but I fear my entire digestive track will up and leave out of protest, which now that I think about it, doesn't sound half bad because that small intestine has to be a few pounds on its own.

But I digress. I realize I have lost 49 pounds the honest way of working out and eating healthy (and yes, 1 cup of raw cookie dough during class is healthy), but I cannot get over that huge mental road block of 50 pounds doing it the honest way. I refuse to use diet pills or Jenny Craig or any other gimmicky diet.

So I want to catch the Bacon Bug. I figure it's an avant-garde way of going about dropping weight. From what the good people on NPR tell me, those afflicted with the Bacon Bug are just expelling stuff like crazy and have no appetite. Perfect for a Fat Girl like me trying to get over the hump. Once I am at a solid 55 pounds lost, because of course there will be some rehydration weight gain that I need to account for, I will go see the doctor to rid myself of the Bacon Bug. To me it is fool proof.

Except, it seems everyone in North America is catching the Bacon Bug but me. I've tried everything. I am still practicing very solid hand sanitation methods, because I go to school in a kitchen and spend a lot of time in my own, but past that basic rule of humankind, I am doing everything I can, and failing. I have been tolerating children's presence, dealing with pregnant women and trying to spend more time interacting with old people, and not a one of those high-risk individuals had what is needed to afflict me with the Bacon Bug. I am pretty sure NPR is lying about those folks being covered in Bacon Bug, because they sure are not passing anything along to me.

Sadly, I have come to accept that I may be unsuccessful in my mission to get Bacon Bug, despite my best attempts. I have never had the flu in my adult life, and never had a flu vaccine, so perhaps I have a good immune system. Although I am contemplating getting the Bacon Bug vaccine, even though I do not support vaccines (Build an immune system, People!) I heard that there is small amounts of Bacon Bug in the flu mist, and perhaps that will put me over the edge. At this point though, I am waiting until December and am on holiday break, because my school will quarantine me if I get Bacon Bug.

However, I have been trying to execute a mean-time plan to get me past that hump until Bacon Bug catches me. Be forewarned- this is quite disgusting. You will not look at me the same. If you cannot handle that and my confession, then close the page now and check out the very poorly redesigned homepage at CNN.com and send them nasty feedback as I do every day, in my downtime of scheming of how I can get Bacon Bug.

Anyway, I have been making attempts to get a tapeworm. And I am failing. From what my intensive research has shown (read: Wikipedia), tape worms are very effective at stealing all of your bodies and nutrients, allowing the Host, or Hostess as my tapeworm will have to call me, to consume whatever they want and still lose weight. Sounds perfect! I get to help Mother Nature by providing a warm, stable environment for one of God's creatures (Just ignore the fact I am an Agnostic, it's irrelevant in the tapeworm argument,) and get over that 50-pound mark. This is an ideal situation for everyone involved, ie Me and Tapey, as I shall call him. The fly in the ointment is that my stomach seems to be an inhospitable environment as no tapeworms have set up camp. I've tried to increase my consumption of undercooked beef and pork, but apparently since my blood has a proof content, it kills off anything trying to set up camp inside me. Which upsets me, because I like to imagine Tapey getting all cozy in me, like to Mucus family from the Mucinex commercials. Tapey will eat all of my calories for me, allowing me to reach my goals and he will be warm in my cushiony confines. But it just doesn't seem to want to happen, and I am thinking of giving up this plan entirely after I told my husband about it and he made me look at actual pictures of tapeworms in an attempt to dissuade me (Note: You think that man got those National Service Medals from his military work? No, no my friends, he earned those for the many man hours he puts into talking me out of my hair-brained schemes.) The pictures showed me that tapeworms are nothing like the friendly, smiling Tapey of my mind and heart.

So, it looks like I am back to the old-fashioned method. Again. Hopefully it will get me over that 50-pound mark I so very desperately want to conquer. If not, who knows what measures I will take.

However, know that if I go missing, you will likely find me rolling around pig pens in Mexico. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Rant-Psychological Therapy needed for Retail Therapy Experience.

I have been betrayed. You know that feeling when you have confided in a good friend, only to have her turn around and tell half of America your business, and you are left feeling alone, scorned and confused. That's me right now.

I have been betrayed by an experience that once brought me immense pleasure and relaxation. The joy of retail therapy has been tainted, and I do not think I will bounce back. It started off innocently on a chilly Saturday afternoon with some girlfriends and ended with me being confused, angry, and in need of alcohol.

I cannot even put my feelings into words. I believe it all started at Nordstrom's. I was innocently eyeing the MAC counter, despite the fact I had just dropped half our monthly grocery budget at the Macy's MAC counter, and a display case advertising leapt out at me. "Fat Girl Slim" will reduce your appearance of cellulite and make you feel thinner. Of course, I grabbed it up for inspection, thinking this must surely be a joke. After all, all Fat Girls know that there is no cure in a jar, otherwise I would've bought the entire stock of product and swam in it. But alas, it was true. This small jar of lotion claimed that it would essentially cure my obesity for only $35. For an extra $70, I could complete the set with Fat Girl Scrub and Fat Girl Sleep. I was shocked that a product was so blatantly advertised to a Fat Girl. For all I complain about retailers not acknowledging the plus-size portion of the market, this felt like a slap in the face. After all, Slim Girls have cellulite, they probably want to feel thinner as this wonder cream claimed it could. But no, this is for the Fat Girls. I looked around and realized I was the only person even getting within a 5-foot radium of this magic fat-killing cream. I scanned and then noticed the Skinny Bitches at the Lancome and Clinique counters looking at me with disgust, their faces revealing thoughts of, "Look at the Fat Girl thinking about buying the cream that will do nothing to make her look better, she should spend the money on a gym membership." I scowled, set the product down, and headed to the Philosophy for some caramel apple body scrub, because of course a Fat Girl wants to smell like food at all times.

I believe my disgust of this product came from the blatant use of "Fat Girl" and my personal connection to it. I always try to use the phrase Fat Girl as an empowerment, because I am a Fat Girl. When I say this to other people, they always say, "Oh no, you're not Fat." And I say, "Yes I am, it's okay." It's not like it's some shocking coming out where people only notice my obesity upon my admittance of it, where they thought I was a svelte size 2 until I said, "I am a fat girl." To see a retailer use this phrase rubbed me wrong. It felt like if the Westboro Baptist Church created a product named, "Queer Guy Straight," that promised if a gay man rubbed the cream on his junk that he'd immediately want to go out and tag a member of the X-chromosome community. But I digress.

The other retailer who betrayed me was Gap. Note:When did Gap become an old persons store? I realize I haven't been in one in years, but I was shocked at how many older-than middle age people were there trying on jeans. When did this happen? I remember the campaign, "Fall Into the Gap," but I didn't realize they meant it for those who are falling and breaking their hips. I stopped shopping at Gap about 9-10 years ago when I entered size 16 land, as the biggest size they carried was a 14. I moved on to Lane Bryant, Dress Barn (Change your name!) and the "Woman" section of many department stores, because if you aren't packing 50+ lbs in extra meat, you don't qualify as a woman. Sorry ladies. Now that I am back in size 14 land, soon to be size 12 land, I decided to try on some jeans at Gap, as I am no longer fitting in the Lane Bryant garments. Note to Lane Bryant: If you created clothing in non-plus sizes, I would still completely support you as you've been there for me, however, the fat girl in me would be betrayed by your selling out, so the decision is yours. Just know it hurt me to not spend my retail dollars at a store that's been so good to me. Anyway, I was looking for a pair of jeans through the racks at Gap and clearly say a misprint on a label.

The label read 18. No, there must be a mistake, that should not be a "1" in front of that 8. But wait, these pants say 20, and these say 16. WTF??!?! Gap, when did you start carrying jeans in Fat Girl sizes?? When did this happen? And so I sat there, staring at the labels, trying to figure out how this could have happened. Gap's sister company, Old Navy, was very open and advertised that they were introducing a Woman's plus section, in addition to carrying jeans up to a 26. My only conclusion is that Gap noticed a market for fat girls who want to wear denim, but did not want to advertise this fact as to not become known as the Fat People's retailer, so they discreetly introduced them, as this is the same company that stopped carrying the XXL-size for men's clothing, but were very open and in the news about this decision. During this whole thought process, I was trying on a pair of jeans, and realized just because they might have the labels right, they don't know how to cut jeans for a curvy figure and left there without a purchase. And I suspect it will be another 9-10 years before I step foot into Gap, simply because there was a time in my fatter days that I could have purchased their clothing, and they did not want to market to me. No need to give them my money now.

I don't know what the whole point of this rant was, other to say I pretty much hate retailers and marketing in America. There is such a disconnect as to how America really is (read: OBESE!) and what people are selling to (Skinny, or those who want to be). I suspect we could cure this whole recession thing if someone came out with a product called Fat Girl Fat that makes our fleshly, cellulite rolls feel soft and velvety, instead of trying to tighten and reduce them. Or perhaps clothing manufacturers could create garments that fit a majority of the population. Oi!

A great thing is that MAC make-up is one-size fits all, and they embrace everyone from fatties to drag queens and everything in between. And I have a whole bag of goodies to go play in and make myself happy with!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fat Girl Fav: Sweets for Less

In honor of starting my education to become a great pastry chef, baker, culinarian and just all-around maker of random life-changing decisions, I decided that it is appropriate to share a Fat Girl Fav with the few people out there who check for my sporadic rantings. Note: they said that on average the first-year student gains about 30-35 pounds. However, I don't see how that can happen. Based on Day 1, I had no time to eat. I shoved a clementine in my mouth before leaving around 0800, and once I got home around 1830, I was too tired to want to eat. I managed to slurp down some yummy squash soup and a piece of bread down. I did some homework and reading then went to bed. Maybe once I adjust to standing in a kitchen for 6 hours with no break I will want to eat more, but if this Day 1 trend continues, Culinary School may turn out to be a great way to lose weight.

Anyway, I have a rampant sweet tooth. Anytime I eat anything, immediately I want sweet. I always say I am just wanting a little something to nosh on, just a taste of sweet. However, quite often that taste of sweet turns into a Volcano-sized Mud Pie drizzled in chocolate shavings. I take no prisoners when it comes to dessert. Alas, I have had to adjust this sweet tooth, sweet jaw rather, in order to get out of the Plus-Sized section like I so desperately want to. I normally will allow myself to have a piece of Dove Dark Chocolate, with only 40 calories it's not too sinful. However, it is starting to become entirely too sensual of a ritual for me to continue. I covet those Dove chocolates. I grab one, enjoy the red foil in my greedy little paw. I slowly unwrap it and smell the bitterness of the dark cocoa, then take the slightest nibble of it, relishing the feel of my teeth through the silky texture. Then I place the entire chocolate on my tongue and move it around my mouth, then suck on it until it melts into a chocolatey pool, savoring having my mouth coated into this heavenly delight. It is amazing.

Clearly, I am getting a little bit too obsessed with my Dove Dark Chocolate moments. If they ever leave me, I just may have to go and kill Dove's pet rabbit and throw it on the stove. My ever-so supportive husband finally told me I need to find a new sweet treat to indulge in as he is beginning to question my loyalty to him over Dove Dark Chocolates. So I've been trying to indulge in different ways, such as:

Guilt-Free Banana Splits: I LOVE me some banana splits. It's my favorite fruit, working as a boat in a pool of yummy ice cream, with random blots of whipped cream rafts, drizzled in a rain of Chocolate Sauce. Heaven!! However, I can easily kill a 10-scoop, 2 banana split in less time it takes my Hound Dog to inhale a pig ear. So I've modified to fulfill my cravings. First thing, skip the ice cream! The ice cream more or less just gets in the way of the trifecta of whipped cream, chocolate sauce and banana. I like to slice up a banana and throw it in the freezer for about 10 minutes so it gets nice and chilly. Then, I load it up with either Fat-Free Cool Whip or Fat-Free Reddi-whip (all depends on whose coupons were more generous in the Sunday Trib), then drizzle it with Fat-Free chocolate sauce. It sounds strange, but it is amazing! I can eat an entire bowlful of it for less than 100 calories, and it beats the hell out of those 100-calorie microwave-cake things Betty Crocker came out with. Plus, you get lots of potassium from that fresh banana- BONUS! I highly suggest you try this some time.

Pancakes: I adore a nice pancake. Husband, however, hates them. Apparently they are served entirely too frequently on Naval vessels, so he has a terrible aversion to pancakes and French Toast (sinner.) One night he shocked me and said that he wanted Pancakes for dinner! Note: It was great to learn that after nine years together you can still be shocked. Well, he was shocked and appalled at my Dove Chocolate ritual, so it goes both ways I guess. Anyway, I had to seize this opportunity to have some yummy flapjacks. I imagined these thick pillowy rounds of griddle-cooked dough, drowning in a sea of butter and syrup and nearly danced a jig in anticipation. Then reality hit in- Hello Calories! And I was fresh off a trip to Ohio where I engaged in way, way too many fat-rich foods.

I had a moment of clarity when I was able to shove the image of pancakes floating in a pool of syrup from my mind. Why not make the pancake themselves taste yummier so all that junk on top is not required. My mind immediately went to throwing a few handfuls of chocolate chips into the mix, but realized that was pretty pointless. I split the batter, and half of it got a few bananas mashed up into it (Told you I love bananas) and the other half got made over with a few splashes of Almond Extract. It worked out wonderfully! Will and I both loved the Almond Extract ones (Banana were tasty too, but the Almond ones were Deeee-licious!) I still needed a little syrup on there, but I used a Sugar-free syrup, that surprisingly tasted better than the sweet goo offered by my girl Mrs. Butterworth. So, lesson learned, enjoy pancakes, just jazz em up and top em with sugar-free syrup. They were so yummy that I may be starting to crack my husband's hate for breakfast foods that come from the griddle. For now, I need to get to class. I am learning how to cut pineapple, mangoes, kiwi, pears, and oranges today. As much as I want to lose weight, I hope that I will find time to get a snack in throughout the day.

Otherwise, there is a good chance Fat Girl will strike and I will eat my assignment before my instructor checks it out.