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We’ve been down this road before. Even I’m a bit bored with it at times. Unfortunately, it’s a place I have to continually return to. I’m counting calories again.

Our wedding is now only two months away. I want to look as good as possible, seeing as how everybody will want to be taking my picture, which is something I detest. I’m never satisfied with the way I look. I so admire people who can see a photo of themselves and think, “Hey, I look pretty damn good.” That never happens to me.

For my birthday, my husband got me a fancy new phone, a droid X. I downloaded the Live Strong app on January 2nd and have been using it to keep track of everything I eat, along with all of my exercise. This has turned the bane of my existence into an even greater monster than before. I now get only 1300 calories per day where I once had 1500. If I liked fruits and vegetables, maybe it would be manageable, but the food I love, the food that really makes me happy, is carbarrific, usually cheesy, and often sweet. Very few things in life give me as much pleasure as chocolate, and I’d happily have a cheeseburger as my last meal. I can’t remember a single time in my life where I thought “Hmm… You know what sounds really good right now? A salad.” That never ever happens.

This is what I do with my spare time and why I never lose weight.

This is what I do with my spare time and why I never lose weight.

And to add insult to injury, my husband, who’s tracking his calories as well, is allowed five hundred calories more than me and burns almost twice as much when we do the same exercise. While I’m struggling to get in enough exercise to break even, he’s sitting on the couch with five hundred calories to spare. In fact, after I finish writing this, he’s going to have to watch me do five minutes of jumping jacks to burn off those sweet potatoes fries he asked me to help him eat tonight.


I usually give up on “dieting” after about two weeks. It’s just too annoying not to be able to do the things that make me happy. Do I need a beautiful body? Probably not. Do I want to let my friends and family see all my squishiness when we go to the beach while they’re here? Probably not. It’s a rough world, folks. I would feel so much better if I could just relax with a bar of chocolate and a glass of wine. But I can’t. Expect grumpiness ahead.


Diets and Doors

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A couple completely unrelated and random things have been on my mind lately.  By now, you should be over the surprise.  This is basically how my mind works.

Geoff and I have both put on a few pounds over the last month or two.  With access to such great food all the time, and me working late hours, the combination of a glut of frozen pizza plus a few holiday/party meals has not necessarily been friendly to that beach body I never had in the first place.  But in an effort to stay alive longer and simultaneously feed my vanity, we’re getting back together with our old pal Live Strong.  It helped Geoff lose over 30 pounds last spring.  I’m pretty sure it can help us cut back again.

I get sort of sullen when I don’t get to eat delicious food.  This means I will have to exercise a hell of a lot more in order to be able to eat as many cookies as I want.  I did just hear a nutritionist online say that it was better to eat real butter than fake fats, so I’m pretty sure that means I can have cupcakes every day of my life.  Whatevs.  As if I really care.

Now on to the doors.  I have a board on Pinterest called Portals.  It’s a collection of photos of nothing but doors and windows.  I love looking at all of these beautiful doors and trying to imagine what’s on the other side and the type of people who walk though them.  When I was a little girl, I watched the animated version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe over and over again.  Since then, I’ve been in love with the idea that walking through any doorway could potentially, given the proper circumstances, lead me to a magical world.  It’s a grand dream and one I plan to never let go of.

A lot of the doors I’ve collected are in far off places, and most of them are brilliantly colored.  Our Puritan ancestors in this country instilled a lot of important values in our culture.  Hard work and humility being especially valuable in my opinion.  Puritan drab, on the other hand, I’m not a fan of.  A lime green door would probably get you shunned in a lot of American neighborhoods, that is if it’s even allowed in the neighborhood association by-laws.  Land of the free indeed.  Other places in the world seem to be splashed with gorgeous and inspiring colors.  We have far too much humble brown in this country.

I’ve definitely learned through Pinterest that I absolutely adore colors.  Birds and flowers are among my most pinned objects, after cakes and cookies, of course.  I think we should all bring more color in to our lives.  Let’s stop being so quiet.  Let’s stop hiding.  Let’s be bold.  Get noticed.  Take chances.  Paint your door fuchsia.  Or something.  It will make things more interesting, and that’s never bad.

Will Power

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Ah, will power.  It’s such an important quality.  It keeps one out of all sorts of trouble.  Alas, I have none.  Especially not when it comes to ice cream.  Especially not when it comes to Cold Stone chocolate ice cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  (Incidentally, that’s the only way you can get a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in Taiwan.)  And most especially not when my husband is so keen on going out and getting a fix.  Of ice cream.

Confession is good for the soul, right?  So let me give a little dietary confession.  Here’s what I ate today.  I had the other half of that white cake that I told you about yesterday.  You know, the one with all the chemicals that I complained about.  Did you actually think that was going to stop me from finishing it?  Ha, you don’t know me at all.  For lunch, I had a whole wheat tortilla sprinkled with some shredded cheddar cheese, popped in the microwave, rolled up and dipped in sour cream.  After swimming at Kuhio beach, I had a poorly made creamsicle shave ice which I didn’t finish because the flavor didn’t go all the way to the bottom.  For dinner we ate chicken tortellini.  I picked off all the vegetables.  Then I let my husband talk me into going out for ice cream, even though it’s expensive and fattening.  So, basically, I had three desserts in one day.  I have a problem.

You might have noticed that I like food.  Most especially, I like sugary foods.  They bring a lot of pleasure to my life.  It’s my only serious vice.  I realize I am extremely fortunate.  I can eat a bunch of sugar and still stay relatively thin.  Not movie star thin, but I’m not overweight, and I never go to the gym.  In fact, I sort of abhor the thought of exercise for exercise’s sake.  So, I’m wondering if I should feel guilty about this bad habit of mine?  I seem to still be relatively healthy, even though I eat so many carbs and almost no fruits and vegetables.  I can get away with it, so why shouldn’t I indulge?  Perhaps the guilt is the only thing that allows me to maintain some semblance of moderation.

Tomorrow I’m making a chocolate lime tart.  Want to come over and help me eat it so that I can feel less guilty?  It would be a huge help.

Looking for Work

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Trying to find a job totally blows.  It’s so frustrating when you don’t get called in for something you know you’re perfectly qualified for, or when someone says they’ll call you, but they don’t.  Filling out the same information over and over again is so tedious.  I want to go to work, but no one will have me.  It’s just depressing.  Seriously people, just give me a job.

I wish I could just start my own business now.  That way I wouldn’t have to be at anybody’s mercy.  If things were going badly, it wouldn’t be anybody’s fault but my own.  But there’s so much that has to be done first.  And it all costs money, and I’m not making any of that right now.

Oh, and then there’s that wedding thing I’m supposed to be having in the spring, which is getting closer and closer.  How am I supposed to pay for that without a job?  Really, is it asking too much?  I find it extremely hard to believe that nobody needs a sub in this town.

Okay, rant over.  My apologies.  In other news, I walked for three hours yesterday, which means I got to eat ice cream.  And that kind of detail means we’re back on LiveStrong, from which you can also infer that we will become obsessed once more with how many calories is in everything we eat.  So get ready for that.  That will be fun for you.  See, I’m so entertaining and informative.  I’m like the Oprah of the blog world.  Maybe Oprah should give me a job.

My Name Is Renee and I’m Addicted to Sugar

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After making it to my lowest weight since we started trying to eat more sensibly, I completely sabotaged myself today by eating basically nothing but cookies.  I’ve been exhausted and felt a bit ill all day.  I was dying for something to make me feel better.  I was just so tired.  Somehow, eating five cookies in place of dinner made perfect sense.  And of course, I needed that ice cream from McDonald’s when I went grocery shopping straight from work.  It was just so hot.

Of course, now I’m feeling pretty gross after loading up on all those sweets.  It was really amazingly delicious at the time, though.  I make really good cookies.  Technically I still stayed under my calorie limit for the day, but I don’t quite think I managed to consume anything of nutritive value.  I shall have to punish myself like a house elf tomorrow.  I keep telling myself I should do some Pilates today, but I can barely seem to lift my fingers to type this.  All of my energy was consumed in assembling Geoff’s Mexican lasagna for tonight.  I’m just so damn tired.  Wait.  I already said that.  See what I mean?

I hope that I can reasonably convince myself to eat better food tomorrow.  I hope that the kryptonite-like affects of the stifling Taiwan heat will wear off tomorrow.  I was completely useless today.  There were honestly a few times last night when we were walking home that I thought I wouldn’t be able to take another step without fainting.  Being hot sucks.  That’s all there is to it.

I have no spectacular insights for you today.  I might as well continue my pattern of self-destructive behavior by spending the rest of my evening being terrible at video games before my husband gets home.  All those things I was supposed to do tonight will have to wait until tomorrow.  The energy for them simply does not exist.  At least my husband will be fed and happy, and he’s really the only person that matters in this equation.  Me and my sack boy are gonna conquer the world.  Catch you on the flip side.

Let Downs and Long Talks

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Yesterday I spent a LOT of time making cupcakes and cookies to try to sell in the park.  Based on conversations I had with people earlier in the week, I thought a lot of our friends would be gathering there to hang out and have a few drinks before going out for the night.  One person was particularly keen to help.  She volunteered her ice chest, and was really happy about helping with customers who didn’t speak English.  I was looking forward to having all of our friends around so that we could laugh together and share some good times.  Apparently, my ideas of making plans are not the same as other people’s.  Apparently, I expect too much from others.  Apparently, just because someone says they’ll do something or be somewhere doesn’t mean they’re actually going to do it.  I was so disappointed when my friend told me she was going to a different party.

So I guess that’s just another one of my many flaws.  My expectations are too high.  I always go where I say I will be.  I’m pretty much always on time.  I try as much as possible to think about other people and their feelings and what my actions communicate.  My husband tells me it is unreasonable for me to expect the same behavior from other people.  I disagree.  This is one of our many differences.  However, I think it’s important to note that I also don’t hold grudges.  I get irritated when people don’t stick to their word or value my time, but I always forgive them and never make a big deal about it.

Eventually though, two of our closest and most wonderful friends did finally join us (nearly two hours late 😉 ) on our little blanket in the park behind our Treatsies sign.  We came much better equipped this week, with all of our treats and the wine in one cooler bag with ice packs, so our cupcakes didn’t melt.  Geoff and I managed to work our way through our two bottles of sweet wine quick enough, and the conversation was flowing.  What’s better than sitting under the stars (I know they’re up there even if we can’t see them through all the pollution) and talking about spirituality and politics with your closest friends?  I love it.

We were extra indulgent yesterday and decided to go out for pizza at this great little place called Salut on Soho Street.  I haven’t counted up my calories, but I also sampled a cupcake yesterday, so I have a feeling I’ll be quite disappointed in the results.  I did notice when I looked in the mirror this morning that my face is starting to look a bit thinner.  I’ll soon be going to the beach every day so I need to tone this sad old body up so that I don’t gross anyone out on the beach.  The thing I love about Hawaii, though, is that everybody’s out at the beach, so nobody’s really paying attention to anyone else’s body.  Walking around in a bathing suit is just perfectly normal there.

All in all I count it as a successful day.  I think Geoff was trying to be extra supportive this week.  I hope it was genuine and not just an act.  British people can sometimes be excessively polite, so it’s difficult to know how they really feel about things.  But what I do know is that my husband loves me tremendously.  So I’ll stop doubting myself and just accept it.

Lazy Girl Guilt

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My feet hurt.  I walked for an hour tonight.  It’s not much, but it was enough to make me feel a bit tired.  Some days I wish we didn’t have that stupid scale so that when I feel the need to eat lots of cornmeal pancakes I don’t have to see the quantifiable effects.  Geoff has lost 28 pounds, and he’s looking better every day.  I, on the other hand, have lost only 14, and this week I gained two.  I think I liked it better when we didn’t have the scale.  It’s so disheartening.

I’ve been for a walk three days in a row.  It’s hot and irritating.  I’ve always loathed exercise for the sake of exercise.  For the first twenty years of my life I danced four to eight hours a day, so I never thought twice about exercise.  Before my daughter was born, I worried about being too thin.  Whine. Whine. Complain. Complain.  I know I should stop complaining and do something about it.  But to be quite frank, I’m feeling a bit pissed off about the whole notion of being thin right now.

Why can’t I be magically skinny like all those gorgeous movie stars who I never have to see sweating at the gym or getting into tummy-flattening undergarments?  Why can’t I have perfect hair and makeup like they do?  If their hair and makeup crew is just out of shot, they don’t exist, right?  Those women wake up in the morning looking magically beautiful.  There is no effort or will involved.

Dispensing with the delusions and moving on to the good part, those cornmeal pancakes were pretty fantastic.  And there’s a bunch more in the freezer, so they can continue to be fantastic and make me fat for days to come.  I haven’t baked anything since Monday, so I had to get a sugar fix somehow.  Perhaps that demontor’s still wafting around outside my door.  Where’s my damn chocolate?