Rebel Wilson is my hero…

I’ll admit I wasn’t all that taken with Rebel in her turn in Bridesmaids, but she stole my heart in Pitch Perfect. She floors me with her confidence and her “so what” attitude about her weight. Yes, she’s over weight, but to her it’s “so what?”  Her characters exude a certainty in who they are and their sexuality that I envy.  She’s not waiting to be thin to dream big; she isn’t hampered by my crushing idea that being overweight is the cause of many of my issues.

She’s also ridiculously smart: she has a law degree and and arts degree.  And she is ridiculously funny.  And she’s funny in part because she doesn’t have any shame about her weight.

I have a ridiculous amount of shame about my weight.  I’m constantly judging myself by that number on the scale, by what I’m eating, or by how my pants fit.  it’s a never ending battle.  I don’t put myself out there in the dating world very often, because I’m convinced that men won’t even talk to me because I am fat.  And in some part of my psyche, I shy away from that attention as well.  When I’ve dropped into the magic land of “Oneder land”, I have freaked out and ended up running to the food to comfort myself, and likely put the weight back on to where I was somewhat invisible to guys.

But Rebel?  She owns that.  She talks to Ellen about how she stuffed cookies from the posh Disneyland club into her purse, and when she got busted by the waiter and was offered a to-go box, merely said “okay!” and brought this gigantic box of desserts around the park.  With zero shame. She goes on Jay Leno and sings Lady Gaga with her “breast voice”, and KILLS IT.

So, I think I’m going to start thinking what Rebel Wilson would do, and care less about what other people might think.  Maybe I’ll even just start calling myself Fat Heather and come to terms with that – and that it’s not the whole sum of who I am. After all, I’m pretty darn funny as well.

And maybe I’ll be a little bit more like this:

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One of the better songs out there that you’ll never hear on the radio, likely NSFW

I love Lily Allen’s songs, with her irreverent wit and sarcasm.  I could listen to her entire first album, Alright, Still, for days on end.  Everything’s Just Wonderful was my theme song back in 2007.  Lily tells it like it is, and it is no different here.  She uses autotune and riffs on twerking, Robin Thicke, and even “it’s hard out here for a pimp”; none of the scenes in the video are original except for the initial surgery scene.  Otherwise, they are all spoofs and satires of other videos (alphabet balloons anyone?).

Also – if you missed it: And if you can’t detect the sarcasm, You’ve misunderstood.

The following video actually does a very good job at rebutting a lot of the criticism of the video, such as why are all the dancers black, why does she use autotune, and how she is putting down women who want to have kids (hint: she’s not).

I for one say: welcome back, Lily!

How I learned to love football [or, what could be so enthralling we had to skip coffee hour after church on game days]

When I was younger, we went to church every Sunday at the Episcopal church up the hill from our house.  My dad sung in the choir and was a lay reader, and I always looked forward to the cookies at coffee hour afterwards, as well as youth group.  But, beginning in August, every time the Bears were playing, my dad would gather everyone up right after the service ended (about 11:50, depending on how long the sermon was) and we would get home as quick as we could, in order to be home before noon. These were the days before VCRs, after all, and the only remote control we had was my sister or I.  And then, my dad would be incommunicado for the next 3 hours, except for the armchair coaching and “Oh, COME ON!!” we’d occasionally hear when the Bears bungled a play.

I think I was about 12 when I decided that I was going to investigate what this phenomenon was that so engrossed my father. One day after church, I crept into the living room, and sat down next to my dad, and said I wanted to watch, too.   And so it started.  He was utterly patient, never getting angry at me for asking a question right before a big play, or wondering why there was a yellow hankie on the field.  For those of you who know me, I ask a barrage of questions when I’m learning something, and he answered each one as if I wasn’t interrupting his watching this game he loved.

Eventually, the VCR was invented (along with the wired remote), and we were among the first to get one.  I’m pretty sure we were on the cutting edge so my dad could record football; we no longer had to rush out from church, and now both my dad and I were sitting in front of the TV every Sunday, and there were two voices yelling at the TV when the Bears bungled a play.  Plus, it got me out of having to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner as there was football to be watched!

Football has been one of the defining factors of my relationship with my dad.  We both celebrated when the Bears did the Superbowl Shuffle.  My dad called me when I was off at college, every Sunday like clockwork.  When the Bears game was over, my phone would ring, and Dad and I would animatedly start talking about the game, and then how our weeks went.  When I wasn’t watching the game in my room, I’d call him instead.  My mom, not being a football lover, would invariably call right at the 2 minute time out or in the middle of a big series, as she didn’t know better; I eventually trained her to check the TV schedule before calling, and life was good.

My dad still calls every Sunday, and I still yell at the Bears on TV.  Dad has moved to Arizona (and now has a TiVo and a wireless remote), so he doesn’t get the Bears game any longer and has become a traitor and roots for the Cardinals, but he’s still my dad, so I’ll forgive him.  Plus, he still gets excited when the Bears play the Cards so he can see his boys on TV.   And, who knows, I may pass on the love of football to my niece or nephew and continue the tradition…

Why are we ashamed to talk about shame and be vulnerable?

I’ve taken the rest of the week off to attempt to get better, so please forgive me if the next few days’ worth of posts are rather short.  I’m spending most of my time sleeping.  And debating wearing pajama pants to my PT massage.

In any case, while the below video is just over 20 minutes long, it is so well worth your time.  Brene Brown is a shame researcher, and has a lot to say on the power of vulnerability, and also why not being vulnerable is causing so many problems today.

Being sick really brings this to mind.  When I am sick, I feel ashamed that I am unable to give 100%.  I feel guilty for not going to work.  I think that people are going to think I’m a slacker or just making things up and making them do my job. I feel ashamed that while I’m 40 years old, I still want my mom to come make me chicken soup*. I feel lazy and a slob because the dishes pile up as the last thing I want to do is do the damned dishes, and I’m ashamed of that.

And I don’t want to tell you all that. I don’t want to tell you that I feel bad and would rather tell my sorrows to my friends Ben and Jerry and hide from that whole vulnerable feeling.  We’re not supposed to be vulnerable – I’m not supposed to be vulnerable.  I’m supposed to be responsible and independent and amazing and perfect.   When I get sick, it’s like getting smacked with a big ol’ two by four of reality, and I hate it.

And so, I rewatch this video, or read some in her books, and remind myself that this is all okay. We are allowed to be vulnerable.  Vulnerability makes us better people.  It makes us more empathetic and actually better able to cope, and when I feel the feelings, I don’t spend so much time with things that make me feel good in the short term, but like crap in the long term.

So, this morning, I slept in, and then did the dishes.  I also made some chicken soup, and did a little bit of laundry.  And I told myself that it was okay that I’m sick.  And then I took a nap, or three.

*I did actually make myself chicken soup today, but while it turned out okay, it didn’t turn out as well as my mom’s does. Isn’t that always the case?

America is not the greatest country in the world any longer…

Please take the 6 minutes to watch the opening scene to Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom“.  Jeff Daniel’s monologue struck a chord with me, as it expounds upon many things I’ve thought myself in the last several years.   The first 10 minutes of the show sucked me in, and I was hooked: I believe I binge-watched the entire first season in a matter of 2 days (it helps that it was a 10 episode season). I totally identify with Will McAvoy’s political leanings. Also, Mr. Sorkin must be psychic when it comes to my thoughts about the Tea Party – although I’d like to think most smart people have the same opinions of that group.

I devoured season 2 in about 3 days, although I didn’t like it quite as much as the first season, mostly due to the storytelling hack used.  I truly dislike, in television and in writing, this now-popular style of employing a time machine and continuing to jump back and forth between periods of time.  I’m fine with the Revenge-style method of showing a critical scene that’s 6 months into the future, and then rewinding and proceeding linearly to that point.  Season 2 started 6 months into the future, and then continued to jump back and forth between the linear timeline and then portions of the future.  Annoying.  But, not annoying enough to make me stop watching, an Sorkin is still a fantastic writer.

Shows like this make me wish I had a job where I could spend a “day in the life” and see how things really work.  I’ve got a long list of jobs that I’d like to shadow for a day, just to see how everything is put together.  Alas, I don’t think that job would pay very much, so I’ll stick to watching shows like this.

Can someone please locate my immune system, stat?

I don’t really have the energy for a full on blog post today, as I’ve been feeling kind of run down for the last couple weeks.  It doesn’t help that I’ve been making poor food choices, either.  I tend to do that when I feel sick, which starts a downward spiral.  When I’m sick, I want comfort and someone to take care of me.  My mother lives 500 miles away and I don’t expect her to travel here at the drop of the hat when I’m under the weather [but if she wants to, that’s fine – hi mom!].  Add to that, the fact that I am then feeling lazy and don’t want to cook and you get a lot of takeout meals that are in no way paleo.

Mac and cheese and all its gluten-y goodness is like mainlining seratonin.   So, I do literally feel great while I’m eating … and all of about 5 minutes afterwards.   And then the dairy make me more stuffy and i get headache-y from the gluten, and then I feel WORSE.  And I still want someone to take care of me and be comforted, and the whole cycle starts again.

This is always my issue – and eventually I get tired of feeling so crappy that I just get back on the good food horse and carry on.

But I won’t lie to you – I’m debating starting the potato hack for the next several days, just so food is a) easy, b) a no-brainer, and c) comforting.  Potatoes have a 323% satisfaction rating (as compared to white bread)!  And homemade french fries, what’s more comforting than that?

The Whole30 After Action Report…

So the lovely people at Whole9 suggest we write up an After Action Report to evaluate the Whole30.  So, here’s mine:

What went well:

  • I lost 7.2 pounds!
  • My skin was definitely clearer
  • I won my dietbet!
  • I didn’t stress about having 348 recipes and each day planned out to the nines
  • I didn’t stress about working out, and by the end actually felt like walking
  • No more gurgling, gassy GI system!
  • GERD basically gone – except when I eat too-spicy things.
  • Having a buddy to vent to during the 30 days

What could have gone better:

  • SO. EXHAUSTED.  Every day at 3 pm [I’m pretty sure this is directly linked to caffeine, as I’ve been off it for 4 days and feel much better already]
  • Snacking.  Sunbutter, I cannot quit yooou. I did not make a diligent effort to eliminate snacking from my diet.  I think this was also tied to the 3 pm sleepies; I get tired and because I cannot nap, I get hungry.

What you’ll do the next time:

  • Focus on the rest of the program:  3 meals a day, and make sure to have breakfast
  • Stay decaffeinated during the W30; although most likely, I’ll be staying decaf from now on.
  • Start in January, and plan a W45, and post in the Whole30 forums daily
  • Make a list of my favorite recipes and post/link them here

Reintroduction updates:

  • Non gluten grains don’t have a huge impact on me, but they are starting to make my GI system gurgly and odoriferous.  I’m going back to strict W30 until Tuesday, when I will reintroduce dairy (mmmm jeni’s ice cream….)
  • The non-gluten grains are nice, but not really necessary.  I may have some quinoa pasta with my ground beef/veggie fry ups occasionally – maybe once a week, because the texture is nice, but it’s certainly not something I’d like inflict on my body every day.

Next 30 day challenge??

I’ve signed up for Leo Babuta’s Sea Change program, and decided I want to journal every day.  I’m using lift.do to track, which is pretty convenient.  I started on the 29th of September and have 6 days under my belt!