The Return of the Calorie Count and Censoring Sex Crimes

Hey, dudes/ladies, check out this adorable-as-all-hell travel mug I bought for myself at Newbury Comics on my birthday shopping trip.

I brought it with me on my grocery shopping trip this morning, and looked classy as a mofo.At the moment, I am drinking copious amounts of green tea out of it in an attempt to flush out the massive quantities of bloat I acquired in between yesterday and today; yep, I gained 3.4 pounds overnight, and am now 130.6. Peachy, no? Of course, yesterday, I was voluntarily going to count calories beginning today, but now that I actually have to, I am like, “NOOOOOO THIS IS SO UNNATURAL, LIKE TWIMOMS, SERIOUSLY THOSE WOMEN ARE WAY TOO OLD TO LOVE ON TAYLOR LAUTNER THAT IS BORDERLINE PEDOPHILIA AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”

Blergh. Of course, I am sure it is just water retention and that it is nigh impossible to gain that much weight overnight. Regardless, I am sorry for the mad repetitive binge-oriented posts as of late; when I get stressed out about one thing, I tend to stress out about everything else in my life, too. It is like my stress is the common cold, and “fear of the return of binge eating”-thoughts are that kid in your class who has the really bad immune system and always gets sick, and all my other thoughts are like, “Ugh why does he come to class when he is sick, vacation is coming up I hope I don’t get sick,” but they do. And, when I do get stressed out about a thing, I tend to obsesses over it and basically repeat the same thoughts on it over and over like a broken record.

Anyway, yesterday definitely was a binge. I’m not sure why I seem to have intuitive eating down on most days of the week but not on celebratory days/holidays. Maybe it’s because while I was dieting, I gave myself a pass to binge on said days? Ah, well. I guess all I can do is chalk it up to a learning experience and just be better prepared as the next holiday rolls around.

“But, Elizabeth, you said you were stressed about a thing. TELL US.”

Oh, blog readers, you’re so thoughtful/concerned! Or just vile gossip mongers, you bastards. Whatever, I’ll tell you anyway.

As some of you may know/recall, I recently started working as a radio anchor/reporter. This is (was?) a pretty cool thing as it is what I went to school for, but something happened last Saturday that has me mild to moderately concerned: Long story short, I aired a news piece I had pulled off the AP wire* that was about a Massachusetts priest who had been arrested for soliciting sex. I got hell of chewed out by my boss (“We don’t air smut,” “That’s not what our audience wants to hear,” etc.), and was informed that the stations on which I broadcast news generally avoid stories on “sex scandals, rape, [and] child pornography.”

On the one hand, I understand the our news airs on entertainment/music stations and now dedicated news stations, but on the other hand I’m troubled that we’re a) censoring content and b) grouping together stories about sex scandals and rape. It just makes me uneasy, and my job feels trivial; are we only supposed to feed people fluff?

What are your thoughts regarding stories on sex crimes? Do you expect “softer” news when you’re listening to an entertainment station rather than a station dedicated to news/talk?

* For those who are unfamiliar with how news works, many media outlets (e.g., newspapers, radio stations, etc.) use stories by the Associated Press (i.e. the AP, an extensive news agency) in their broadcasts or publications, since most news sources don’t have the resources to send their journalists all across the country. For example, the company I work for would never send a reporter all the way to the G-20 summit in Toronto, so instead we’d use a story on it by the AP for our national news segment.

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Weigh-In Day: Week of June 25th/Body Snark

Ugh, dude’s my eating habits! They are hell of terrible. I weighed in at 127.2 today (Good!), but I fear that a great evil is returning to the land … the evil of …

Binge eating. (HOLY GOD, BAD)

But, I’m not sure if I should be legitimately concerned; I splurged three days this week to celebrate my birthday (which is today, actually, but for some reason I thought I should celebrate this weekend since I was working today, and then today rolled around and my mom and were like, “BOO ANTI-CLIMATIC BIRTHDAY LET’S CELEBRATE AGAIN!”), but I’m not sure if any of those days on which I splurged were actually a “binge,” or if I would have even splurged (binged?) today had I not weighed-in within my maintenance range this morning. But, on the days I splurged (BINGED?!?1?), I never ran out to buy extra stuff because I just thought, “SCREW IT! I’M OUT OF CALORIES!” but I did eat past the point of being full, and if I were in a store, I would impulse-buy a candy bar and chomp it without really thinking. Though, at the beginning of the week I was also only 124.6 pounds, and I’m not sure if I would have overdid-it had this not been the case/had I not been celebrating my birthday. Blergh. On the other hand, I know I am entirely in control of what I stuff in my face and I know I don’t want to go back to dieting and I KNOW that even though I splurged I am still within my maintenance range (and that’s part of the glory of maintenance, some weeks you eat more and some weeks you eat less but it is OK to eat more some weeks), so what am I really concerned about? Still, I kind of feel like normal people don’t gain 2.6 pounds while celebrating special events. Hm. Baby steps, I reckon.

I do have to give myself kudos, though, for taking some steps to not overeat:

a) When eating out and sharing an appetizer, I took what I deemed to be an appropriate portion off the group plate and then didn’t go back any more.

b) If I could eat healthfully, I did; I tried not make the days on which I splurged (BINGED?!?2?!?!@!? OH MY GOD I DON’T KNOW) into an all-day eating fest, and would start with something healthy like oat bran.

c) I tried to think about what I really wanted. Whereas before if I were having a “splurge” day I would just get everything and anything, I legitimately tried to keep my snacking to a minimum while out celebrating/shopping so I would have room for dinner at ze restaurant we were going to.

And, so on. OH, MAN, LOOK AT THAT LIST, SO IMPRESSIVE.

Regardless of whether I binged or splurged, though, I’m going to go back to counting calories and do a sugar detox (ie.e, no “dessert products), just for the next two weeks. I know I don’t really need to, and I’d like to get to a point where I don’t have to follow a celebratory event with calorie counting, but I just want to play it safe and make sure I don’t continue overeating. Also, every once and a while when I overdo it on the sugar, I kind of like to put a little distance between myself and the desserts and have a nice stint of clean eating to get my system back in order, you know?

In other news, a funny thing happened on my way to the forum.

Wait, no. A funny thing happened while I was out shopping (at the mall, no less, even though I detest crowds of people.) Long story short, my mother and I stopped by Eddie Bauer while we were out and decided to pick up some summer clothes. I happened to try on a dress and attract the attention of a salesperson, who began engaging my mother in the following conversation:

Salesperson: “Oh, my goodness! She looks so good in that dress!” (Aw, that’s nice.)

Mum: “Yeah, it looks really cute on her!”

Salesperson: “Ugh, she’s so thin! Look at her.” ( … OK.)

Mum: “Ha, yes, I used to be that thin at her age, too, though.”

Salesperson: “Ugh, yes, me too. Ugh, I hate her, she’s so thin! Let’s stop looking at her.” ( … WTF?)

It was just … odd. And, in this vein, I’m tired of “thin” being used as a compliment. In fact, I’m tired of size-related adjectives in general being used as compliments or insults. In my opinion, body preference is kind of like someone’s taste in movies or books or art; to each their own, ja? So, why OK to hate on or compliment someone for being overweight or underweight? For all that salesperson knew, I could have been a recovering anorexic, and her comments could have triggered a re-emergence of my eating disorder. And, not to be corny, but bodies can be beautiful at any size: Why has one shape become the standard for attractiveness? Can’t beauty come in a variety of sizes? And, why do we assume that all women want to be twigs? Likewise, why do “real women have curves?” Are chemotherapy patients who can’t keep weight on not “real women”? And, maybe some women pride themselves on being overweight or voluptuous or muscular.

/end rant

Gah, I wish I were better at organizing my thoughts. But, you get the jist, right?

Have you ever been the victim of “body snark?”

Bad Blogger, Bad!

I know! I haven’t updated in forever, FORGIVE ME. But an update will totally be forthcoming, I swear! I just haven’t had a day off in eleven days, and I have to be to work in … five minutes.

OK TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES I’LL BE BACK (Day off tomorrow, finally!)

A Fitness Favor

Seeing as how I’m not at university anymore, I no longer have ready access to an indoor track/exercise equipment. And, the beloved treadmill that has resided in my living room at home for several years recently shit the bed. Alas. So, I went in search of a gym in my hometown, because I knew the first day it rained and I wouldn’t be able to complete a scheduled run (yes, I’m a wuss who won’t run in the rain), I would flip out.

I actually prefer going to the gym to run over using a treadmill in my home (whenever I would do the latter, it would take me hours sometimes to do a run, just because I would stop for a water break every 15 minutes. It would get pretty ridiculous), so I don’t have a problem with shelling out for external treadmill access. But, I would not have discovered one pet peeve of mine had I never stepped foot in a gym:

I can’t stand it when there’s a whole row of treadmills/exercise equipment open and someone chooses the machine right next to me—it’s like when there’s a parking lot full of empty spaces and the next person to pull in chooses the space next to your car. I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m the only one bothered by this. Maybe everyone else who goes to the gym partially goes to experience having a sweaty body in close proximity to their’s because they’re not having sex and running next to someone on a treadmill is as close to doin’ it as they’re going to get. I, however, do not want someone right next to me, and the minute someone climbs onto the machine next to mine I immediately start leaning away. I am getting an unbalanced workout because of you needy bastards! Get away from me!

Regardless, this wouldn’t bother me quite so much if all those who stationed themselves next to me didn’t all seem to belong to those populations that either don’t believe in deodorant or bathes in perfume. So, here is my request:

DEAR GYM-GOING DUDES/LADIES:

If you are going to be one of those people who tries to experience sexy time vicariously through running next to me, please do not use excessive amounts of body spray/perfume before coming to the gym. It makes me choke and gives me a headache, and I can barely run when I’m feeling well. Likewise, to those folk who don’t believe in deodorant, please keep in mind that deodorant isn’t for you—it is for me. Specifically, it is to protect me from your stank, so please use it.

Love,

Liz

In other news, I started one of my two jobs. Yay! You see, since my radio job is only part time, I need to do somethin’ else to bring in the money, honey. Fortunately, I was able to secure the cemetery job that I’ve worked for the past three summers. Yes, I work at a cemetery, and I actually really enjoy it. Here is a picture of a portion of the cemetery!

Awesome, graves! I know some people may find the idea of working in a cemetery morbid, but I enjoy being outside (the job involves mowing/weed-whacking the 40-acre area three days a week) and it’s nice to be active. Occasionally, it does get a little depressing (a man’s young wife passed away last summer, and he visited the grave site every day, and it was just about the saddest thing ever), but otherwise I don’t mind being surrounded by death. Mostly, I just find checking out grave inscriptions interesting/historical, especially since some of the graves date back to the 1800s. Neat.

Do you have any pet peeves, gym-oriented or otherwise? Do cemeteries/death bother you? These questions are really unrelated to each other, dang.

Restaurant Reluctance

Alright, now that I have all my grades in my possession, I can officially say that I have graduated. Thanks, professors, for not secretly hating me and failing me as a way by which to express your hidden distaste for my person.*

Of course, graduating means celebrating, and in light of the fact that my mum wanted to take me out to lunch to do so, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve developed a major aversion to restaurants. The reason for this is twofold:

1) The first reason—which is actually much more minor than the second—is my “fear of the unknown,” I reckon. It’s like I’d rather sit down with a pint of ice cream than a healthy grilled chicken entree at a restaurant because at least I know how many calories the ice cream has, whereas CALORIES COULD BE LURKING ANYWHERE IN THAT CHICKEN OMG I BET IT IS SECRETLY STUFFED WITH BUTTER. But, like I said, this is a minor concern, and I also am totally aware that the calories in everything can be reasonably estimated, and what do I care if I’m off by a few hundred calories? And, I (hopefully) won’t be counting calories forever, anyway. Bottom line: If someone said to me, “ELIZABETH WE ARE GOING TO A RESTAURANT RIGHT NOW AND YOU WILL LIKE IT,” I wouldn’t totally lose my shit.

2) The major reason I no longer like restaurants is that the better care I take of myself, the less I want to feel gross. And, restaurant food makes me feel gross 90% of the time. When I think of food, now, I think of it like fuel/what kind of affect it’ll have on my physical capabilities, and the last thing I want to dump in my tummy the day before a 7-mile stint is a bunch of fat and grease that’s going to make me slog along like someone who has had a ball of lead take up residence in their intestinal tract (this is along the same reasoning as to why I no longer have the urge to binge, either). Also, I find that restaurant food rarely lives up to my expectations, and I would rather have something that I am able to prepare myself exactly how I want it. ALSO, restaurant food is expensive! Man, you go out for a meal, and you could have bought a t-shirt for the amount of money you dropped on an overcooked steak.**

But, I reckon that going to restaurants is kind of like dating; you tell everyone you’re not into it at the moment, and then a really great Thai place/an attractive firefighter shows up in your town and you’re the first one wantin’ the Pad Thai, if you know what I mean. But, no, seriously though, I’d probably want to go out to eat if there was actually somewhere appealing to dine in my general vicinity, but most of the eateries around here aren’t exactly mad delicious.

Regardless of my reasons, though, I felt kind of abnormal saying I’d rather stay home and have a home cooked meal than go out to eat. But, my eating habits have been the focus of other people over the years (My ex’s friends, for example, always used to make fun of me for choosing skim milk at breakfast. Why do people feel the need to draw everyone’s attention to things like your food choices? Peh), so I guess it has just made me paranoid that other people may perceive my choices as being motivated by restrictive tendencies and consequently think of me differently.

A side note: I totally made/reviewed that Parmesan risotto, dudes, but I forgot to take a picture for the entry! I’m going to make it again this week, though, so I’ll post the review once you can … see what the food looks like, too, I guess?

Do you prefer home cooked food or restaurant cuisine? Have your food choices ever challenged, discussed or made fun of by others?

* By the way, professors, if you had done this I would have just re-enrolled in your class next semester and been horribly disruptive every class. Just so you know.

** I measure all purchases in terms of how many articles of clothing I could have bought for the same amount of money. So, if someone buys something ridiculous/hell of expensive, I will have to exclaim that they could have purchased FIVE PAIRS OF PANTS or something WHAT WERE THEY THINKING.

Grammar, Getting What You Want and Anita Diamant: A Story About Asking for Things and Being Mildly Insane

I’ve never really considered myself a person who gets “star struck”; to me, celebrities are just those stuck-up kids from my high school’s drama department, except now their arrogance is kind of justified by the fact that they have careers. Authors, however, are a different story.

“OMG … OMG ANITA DIAMANT IS COMING TO MY SCHOOL AH MY GAAAAAWD”

Yes … Anita Diamant, the author of my favorite novel (The Red Tent, a.k.a. “The Little Book That Could”) was coming to my school to speak about her newest work. Maybe she would even sign my copies of the book! This was going to be dreamy.

Then, my social anxiety kicked in and I started thinking about actually asking her for her autograph. What am I supposed to do, just waltz up to her and impose myself on her time? What if my school had a rule against asking authors to sign books? Oh, my God, I was going to be expelled from school. What would Anita Diamant think? She would probably never visit Brandeis again after that stupid girl (i.e., me) had the gall to ask her to sign not one, but two books. How dare I! This was terrible! So, I wrote an e-mail to the professor moderating the event regarding whether it would be alright to ask her for her signature. He said it was fine, and also that it would be “flattering.” I wasn’t convinced; an ex-boyfriend and I had had a class with this professor together several years ago, and the ex had been especially douche-baggish during this course—the professor probably remembered that I had associated with said ass and was trying to sabotage me, now, as revenge. I was on to him.

Regardless, on the night of the event I gathered up my multiple copies of The Red Tent for her to sign (maybe) and traveled over to the student center where the lecture was going to take place. On my way over there, however, my nerves twisted my simple hopes that she would sign my books into some kind of horrible, stalker-ish day dream:

Anita Diamant would be so impressed by my intellect, we would totally be best friends! She would love my life story so much (Apparently, at that point in time my mind was so demented that I thought my life story that was “impressive “) that she would base a character/novel on me. I bet we’ll going skiing together! I’ve never been skiing, before. This is going to be great!

So, I arrived, and I waited. Actually, “fretted” or “frothed in place” is probably a better word/phrase.

And then, she entered the room. Or, someone who I was pretty sure was her entered the room. I held up a book with her portrait and compared her face to the picture (thus already establishing myself as totally nuts), and became 90% sure that Anita Diamant had arrived.

Of course, rabid English-professors immediately descended on her, and probably some people who were her friends (“One day, one of those people will be, except I’ll arrive with her, and we’ll have had dinner right before and everyone will ask if we want any hors d’oeuvres and I’ll be all, “No, we just had dinner. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”) Slowly, a nervous inch at a time, I approached Anita Diamant and hovered, waiting to talk to her, like a creepy-ass vulture waiting to pick at a carcass or that mentally disabled hyena from “The Lion King.”

I almost bailed. “What are you doing! This isn’t a book signing event, she is socializing SIT DOWN.”

“NO! IT IS JUST A SIGNATURE ALSO HOW CAN SHE ASK ME TO GO SKIING WITH HER IF I DON’T INTRODUCE MYSELF.”

Apparently, in addition to an amazing life-story, I had something to prove.

I stood there, shadily looking over the shoulders of the people Anita Diamant was talking to. She spotted me and exclaimed, “You’re going to have me sign those right now, aren’t you!”

“I’M SORRY U R FAVORITE AUTHOR OF MY MOTHER AND MINE!”

Holy Christ, why are these words coming out of my mouth in a way that is horrible. My dreams of visiting Aspen with Anita Diamant were shattered as she looked at me as though I were the crazy person I actually am.

As she seated herself and took the pen I offered her, she asked which copy was my mine:

“THE FANCY HARDCOVER I AM GOING TO PUT IT ON A SHELF IN MY FUTURE LIBRARY.”

Obligingly, Anita Diamant signed this “fancy” copy and my mother’s edition, and I shuffled away after grinning at her like the aforementioned mildly retarded hyena. Then, I filled the time before the lecture began with shame.

However, in the aftermath of this humiliating ordeal, I realized I had learned several things from the incident that kind of balanced out having made an idiot of myself in front of Anita Diamant (except not really, I would never live this down):

1) I am horribly neurotic and should probably be institutionalized.

No, wait, I already knew that one. OK, I learned a couple of things from this:

1) If you want something, ask! It never hurts, and the worst that will happen is you’ll be told “No,” and if you hadn’t asked, you wouldn’t have gotten what you wanted, regardless.

2) Only talk to authors if you enjoy feeling stupid and would like fodder for FML.

P.S. – If people are interested in the content of the actual lecture, let me know and I will write a post about this as well.

See No Evil

So, originally I had said I was going to have an official “weigh day” on Thursday, but I’ve been tracking my weight since my binge and found that I was back down to 129.6 this morning. Of course, I was very pleased, but over the day I started to become really anxious that some minor fluctuation in my weight would throw me back over 130 by Thursday, even if I continued to eat well. I’m not sure why I became so anxious—maybe because the day turned out to be full of some small mishaps and I was anxious about those things, and the anxiety just spread to my weight—but I just decided to “lock in” my weight, if you will, and have today be my weigh in day and not weigh myself again before I go home. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. It probably sounds foolish—I’m not going to change how I eat for the next two days (I’m still going to count calories just to make sure I don’t go overboard before going home), but I’m not going to weigh myself again before I leave for home. As far as I’m concerned, I will weigh 129.6 pounds when I go to the wedding, and I’m pleased as punch.

I just … don’t feel like worrying about the scale for the next few days. Sometimes you just need a break from the numbers. Besides, Tuesdays are going to be my weigh in day between now and December (it just works out well with Thanksgiving/the days I go home), so I needed to switch to Tuesday weigh ins sometime!

Anyway, I’m going to give myself five days of intuitive eating this week and, who knows—maybe if I eat like a normal person, I won’t gain that much weight this weekend. I certainly shouldn’t, but I’m used to using celebratory events as an excuse to binge, and this weekend will be my first big test with intuitive eating.

My knee felt a little wonky today, and I’m worried I might have overdone it with my mileage this week. But, I only did some Yoga today, so I’m hoping I’ll be OK to go for my “Endurance” run tomorrow (every week, I have one running session where I do intervals and one where I just run for as long as I can). I’m looking forward to my run for a change; after today, I have some steam to blow off. The day started off well enough, but as the day progressed …

1. Some dude took issue with a lead in an article I wrote for the Justice. Whatevs. Everyone is a critic.

2. The girl who I wrote the article about claimed via an online comment that I misquoted her, even though I referenced a recorded interview whenever I quoted her. This really bothers me, because any future employers may Google me and see the comment and be all, “Oh hai this chick cant be trusted to quote ppl proprly.” That, and I would never quote someone unless I were 100% sure the quote was correct. Grr! My journalistic dignity!

3. The Brandeis library contacted me and told me I owed them $6 in overdue charges … for a recorder I returned on Saturday. WTF? They better not try to make me replace it: I do NOT have the money to pay for their inability to put things away.

4. The girl using the one operational dryer in our dorm decided to run her clothes through the dryer a SECOND TIME when I was waiting to dry my clothes. So, rather than let my clothes sit in the washing machine for an hour, I just decided to hang them up in my room. There are now undergarments everywhere. Thanks, rude person.

Aggravating day, begone! Is it time for bed yet?