Bikinis, Sour Cream and the Tao of Eating Right

Tao = The Way or the Path. Usually associated with more metaphysical paths.  It somehow seemed appropriate here. 😀
Title is, in part, from this scene from “Chinese Ghost Story.”
Which, if you haven’t seen it, go forth and do so.

A friend of mine was recently chosen to be a participant in a weight loss contest called the “Slim Down Showdown.”  She is blogging about her journey towards a more healthy and active self. I encourage you to go and give her a hug, a kudos, and cheer her on. She is an amazing person with reservoirs of strength that will astonish you. I cannot wait to see what magic she works with this next step in her life.


It occurred to me yesterday, as I was congratulating and jumping up and down and squeeing for her, that my own healthy eating practices have been somewhat lax just recently.
Very lax. To the tune of an added 10 pounds.  In the grand scheme of things, I know that a ten-pound gain over a semester isn’t that big a deal to most people.

But, you see, it is to me. I was starting to get all fretted up – being generally anxious and down on myself. That is, until my pseudo-husband pointed out, “Hey, you’ve been working out pretty regularly. Could it be added muscle and body rearrangement causing the gain?”1



Well, maybe.
But, still. The feeling of not having a good handle on my family’s nutrition bothered me. We have had Domino’s a bit too often recently. Pizza every now and again is not a bad thing. Pizza as a staple2 is.

I have some set ideas about nutrition. My mantra is “real food; whole food.” I want to set down a meal for us where I know exactly what went into it.
I cannot afford the pricier, “organic” versions of some things. For example, almost $4 for a dozen eggs seems extreme on my budget. Especially when a dozen and a half of the ‘regular’ eggs costs $2.50.  Or corn on the cob for $1 for six ears at my local grocer; and 4 for a $1 at the big box Organic Store.
I am not going to get into a debate on the pros/cons of organic purchasing. For now3, most of that sort of food is simply beyond my price range.

Another battle that I am having on the nutrition front is with Mister Man. He is a trauma nurse. He loves and believes in the AMA. He especially believes in their low/no-fat program of eating. For him this means using the sin grasa versions of products, especially the dairy products. And while I grok what he is saying: he worries about heart health and cholesterol and fats, I worry about eating things that more rightly belong in a chemistry set.

Let me give you an example:

My feeling is – eat the real stuff. Just eat a smaller portion of it. In the example above – sour cream – most folks are just adding enough for flavor and creamy texture, right? So, 2 tablespoons ought to easily do it. Not a couple of huge dollops that take out the top third of the container.4

I always do better when I have a plan. A set track of what I should be doing. Because while I love and can easily do spontaneous fun eating – I am not so good at the everyday healthy spontaneity. Some people are, and that’s awesome. Me, not so much.

And it occurs to me, that perhaps I am not alone in this? That other people are looking at their eating/fitness habits and saying “Well…now what?”

I know that when I very first started hammering out an exercise and nutrition plan, it helped me to see what other people did. And NOT Fitness Guru Flava O’the Day. Regular people. People who had to get up with their kids in the morning. People who had to be at work or school, every day. People who don’t necessarily have the bazillions of dollars to join a gym or hire a trainer or buy fancy-schmancy fitness equipment.

It also helps me to have a set goal. Something concrete I can work towards. I have two at staggered intervals. GOOOALLLL!

Goal The First: I am going on a cruise in September. (I KNOW, right?) I’d like to be able to wear, sans embarrassment, a bathing suit of my choice.

Preferably something with skulls.





Goal the Second: There is a 5k Obstacle course that I want to participate in this coming December. I have never in my life run in any sort of event. I’ve always said that running is what you do if someone is chasing you.
Well….Now I can do both. A 5k WITH people things chasing me. How fantastically awesome is that?

My plan is pretty simple. It has to be. I haven’t got the extraneous brainpower to do anything that requires me to calculate this, that, and what in the heck is THAT?

Plan: Real food, balanced meals, smaller portions, daily exercise, track everything. Wooo!

I know. So intricate! So maddeningly complicated! So difficult.  /sarcasm5

But really, a good plan is that simple when it is boiled down. I have my schedule and menu set. I feel calm and confident in my success. The next step, in the words of some advertising agency, is to Just DO EET.

So, that’s what I am doing.



These are some of the people and sites that I find helpful and inspiring. Check them out! There’s fabulous information to be had. These are from a variety of backgrounds and ideologies, a little something from everyone.   Also included is the website I use to track my in/out of food and physical activity.

Fit Mama Training  :::  Every day, simple changes that have a lifetime effect.
Go Kaleo  :::  Hard training vegan with a fabulous outlook on life.
Austin Hula Hooping  ::: A great place to start looking for hoopin’ info.
Robert Gardner Wellness  ::: Thai Massage, Yoga in Everyday life, eating simple.
Livestrong  :::  Most of everything I eat already exists in the database. Easy-peasy!





1 – Paraphrased.
2 – For me, that is more than twice in a month.
3 – Only one real income, me in school full time, The Girl being a teen who eats *everything* that isn’t nailed down.
4 – Something that I used to do, back in the bad old days.
5 – Heheheh. I amuse me.

Ring of Fire

La música es buena.

This popped up on my Pandora this morning. HOMMINA HOMMINA HOMMINA.

I love that my radio station2 is a hodgepodge of sounds, beats, and rhythm. And that occasionally, it will pop up a song or artist I’ve never heard of. GLEE. I’ve found more random fun that way. It’s like Dirk Gently’s Zen navigation method. It doesn’t necessarily get you there quickly –but you find what you need on the way.

This was followed by The Crüxshadows’1Quicksilver.”

LURVE, people. LURVE.

Music like this makes me miss bellydancing EVEN MOAR. I kinda-sorta get some of that dance need taken care of when I go out to the club, every few weeks. But, honestly? I miss going to the studio with a group of women and dancing.

Or dancing to the sounds of dozens and dozens of drummers around a giant, fuck-you fire.

Guarantee that off to the side there are a bunch of drummers with their heads down, putting out the beat.

Some of my best memories are from around a bonfire.
Perhaps that’s why I identify so strongly with some of the burner folk?








1 – Have you seen/heard of them?  They’re pretty, pretty people.

2 – Of which there are ten or so.  😀 See?


Dancing monsters make EVERYthing better. So says we all.

Frumpy? You’re soaking in it!

Here’s a question: who determines the rules for fashion & hair style? They seem so irrational. As if they are designed to squelch unique fashion, while at the same time promoting a look that is designed for only young, hot people. Older folks* are pretty much expected to curl up in a corner and pretend that they don’t exist, except to buy clothing for young people.

I ask because I am in somewhat of a quandry. I am a 41 year old Mom with a kid in middle school. Therefore, I am expected by the fashion industry to look somewhat like this:

"I'll take a half-caff, half-fat soy latte grande with rose-scented syrup and whipped cream made from the milk of sacred cows."









But, I am also a tattooed gamer with a love of goth and stompy boots. RPGs, snark, Sci-Fi (not to be confused with Syfy, which is apparently a disease of the intellect) and music with a BPM higher than 140 make me super happy.
According to much and more on the internet, all of this also makes me a “dork.”

Wait. What do you mean that's a boy? PFFT. I know a goth-mommy when I see one




There is always room for Marilyn-mocking.





The actual problem:

I am re-entering the professional workforce; or rather, attempting to re-enter the workforce. That means interviews. Which means that my lengthy, still somewhat streakily blue and yet gray at the roots hair should probably be styled. Or at the very least, snipped. Furthermore, I am getting touch tired of waking up with my hair wrapped around me like semi-sentient mummy bandages.

Bring Mommy the brush!








What to do, what to do. I would like to get my hair styled. However,I know that walking into any standard stylist will be a frumpy mistake. And walking into a non-standard one will be a costly one.

“Oh, so you want to re-capture your youth while not looking like you are trying to do so? Bettie Page bangs for you!”
“You did notice that my face and body type are neither Betty nor Page, right?”
“Don’t worry! You’ll love it. That’ll be a beeeeelyun dollars, plus tip.”

Pictured: Not my face.

How do I convey to potential employers my value, my skill and my abilities without scaring them off because I don’t look like what they expect?

Let’s not even – right now – get into the whole ageism in the workforce. That is a post for a whole ‘nother day.

Feh, I say. Feh and fist shaking.

I am off to get a hair cut. When I return and if I like the results, I’ll post a picture of the outcome.
In the meantime, wish this “old” gamer good luck.

* – No. Forty is NOT old. I don’t buy into the whole “old” thing except as a measure of how you feel.

Seriously, WordPress?  The formatting of the images and text looked great until I published it.