The Tuesday Twelve: Things For Which I’m Thankful Tuesday, Nov 23 2010 

Yesterday’s 65-degree weather notwithstanding, it’s almost time for Thanksgiving. So in a rare flash of optimism and goodwill, I thought I’d think quickly about what I’m thankful for.  Now of course I am grateful for my family, my relatively decent job, and my friends both new and old, near and far.

I’m glad I have shelter (that is lovelier than I deserve) and nightly food and drink. A closetful of clothes, warm snow boots, ample toothpaste, and all of that stuff that most people I know have without worry and take for granted.

But this list isn’t about all of those super-important things.  It’s about the little things in life I wouldn’t want to live without.  Here are the first 12 of many that crossed my mind.

12. Amazon prime. This was a “free trial” that I forgot to cancel but I have been rewarded by this flash of irresponsibility.  80 bucks a year gets us free two-day shipping on every order?  Such a deal. Comes in handy, well, almost always, but especially when a birthday gift is in danger of being late.

11. The Whole Foods deli. We are fortunate enough to have three grocery stores in walking distance.  The closest of these is Whole Foods, which is all of two blocks northeast. And although I love cooking, it’s nice to know that mere minutes away, is a truly amazing deli.  Six kinds of New York-style pizza, dozens of prepared salads, BBQ’d chicken breasts, enormous panini, sushi rolls. A great shortcut that doesn’t inspire too much guilt.


Chubby Chasing Wednesday, Jun 23 2010 

What's the secret Monica diet?

Yesterday at worker, a co-worker said, “I would love to see one of those people who ate tons of junk food in high school and was still super skinny … what does that person look like now?” I spoke up.  “That person … was me!”  Duh-duh-DUH!

My daily intake my senior year in high school consisted of the following … two Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and a steaming cup of hot chocolate for breakfast (the school provided the seniors with breakfast as a perk).  Lunch was either the delicious, lard-based Southern cooking of my award-winning cafeteria (fried shrimp, fried ham-and-cheese turnovers in phyllo dough, richly cheesy chicken-and-broccoli casserole, all topped off by an orange/cream dreamsicle) or – if I left campus – Taco Bell.  Dinner, as I had to hang around for drama rehearsal, was often Taco Bell again or Chick Fil A.  The only exercise I got was P.E. twice a week and some heavy petting with my boyfriend (sorry, Mom).

And what do I look like now? I’m 25 pounds heavier. Now, this isn’t a Nicole-Eggert-worthy shocking change, and I’m certainly far from obese.  But as my older friends always warned me would happen, my metabolism hit a wall right around 30.  To merely maintain that 25-pounds-heavier frame? I eat relatively healthy – no meat, no fast food, moderate snacking, lots of fruits and veggies, little-to-no alcohol during the weekdays. If I were to revert to my 1992 diet, I’d be in a world of hurt. Perhaps fused to my own couch.

So I’m not one of those gals who has “always struggled with her weight,” but because I was previously disposed to skinnyness despite my bodily abuse, I do continue to struggle with my will power. Yes, I do eat healthy most of the time, but if I’m in “diet” mode, I still have to occasionally snack (even if that snacking consists of healthy things).  And attempts to commit to a workout program have been pathetically, well, pathetic.  When it comes to certain things – quitting socially smoking, for example (sorry again, Mom) or cutting meat out of my diet – the power is there.  When it comes to throwing on the workout shorts and heading out for a run after a soul-sucking day at the office, well, I’d just rather watch TV or play online, comforted by a big bowl of calorie-light-but-sodium-rich Asian rice crackers.

So here I am, 35 and a little chubby in parts (as a misguided Lothario once told my very curvy friend, “You’ve got love in all the right places.”) Not fat, not where the boys from Stand By Me would call me “lard ass,” but not waif-thin like I was in high school.  Youth (and metabolism) is wasted on the young.

How do y’all get off your duff and onto the elliptical?  Because simply looking in the mirror isn’t working for me just yet.