Archives for February 2015


My Diet and the Entitlement Equation

That’s the problem with entitlement, it’s drawing an equation where no equation exists.  I thought resisting chocolate cake and bakery products entitled me to a slender body.  I eat healthy, I follow all of the dietician’s “suggestions” and still I cannot claim a slender body.  I do these:  I plan my meals and I limit the calories of all the meals I plan.  All of the snacks that I have access to are healthy: walnuts, cashews, dark chocolate, Greek yogurt and honey.  I eat according to the schedule, I do not graze.  I don’t ever put crackers or chips at my desk or next to me while watching television.  I don’t even eat crackers because white flour is not recommended for post menopausal women.  I use the book Calorie King so that I know what to avoid: I never eat at fast food restaurants, ever.  I also have a Calorie King ap for my iPad so that I can get information on the go.  We don’t eat cakes, donuts, pastries, white bread or any other white flour.  Our pasta is organic whole grain and our rice is brown.   I switched to almond milk to reduce the dairy and beverage calories.  We eat a lot of salads.

I walk across the parking lot and I take the stairs four times per day, every weekday.  I also walk a 15 minute mile at least 3 times per week at lunch time.  I jump up when I can sit down and I carry my own groceries so that I can have the experience of lifting.  If that weren’t enough I also have a set of stretches that I do every week day morning to keep my back and knee from getting stiff and sore.

The expectation that I have is that all of this effort will give me a slender body.  It does not.  Eating right does not equal a slender body.  Living healthy and actively does not equal a slender body.  I have a couple of things working against me: I have bradycardia = slow heartbeat = slow metabolism.  My heart does not need treatment; it is at least partially a side effect of my hypothyroidism, but there it is, the kiss of death to an “easy” diet.

Back to entitlement, healthy eating does not equal slender body, actively living does not equal slender body.  Slender body is eating less than actively using, that is the only equation that exists.  I can feel sorry for myself because my metabolism makes me work harder than other people, I can believe that the physical universe is unjust to me and none of that matters to this reality.

Slender body = eating less than my body uses.  Now that’s an equation.




I’m Not Mad at Oprah… But

I’m looking at the latest Oprah mag and as usual I’m disgusted (why do I keep buying this mag!).  In my liberal arts classes in college, we often discussed how women undermined themselves by co-opting to the white man’s definition of the professional world.  It was a concept we were all too familiar with.  A woman would make it to the top of her organization and immediately begin criticizing her female peers.  As undergraduates we all promised each other to not be “like that”.

This became part of a broader perspective which was to have women redefine the working world.  We wanted to show the dominant male, that humans needed flexibility and purpose in their work and that productivity could increase as a result of these values.  What is so right about working without personal interruption from 8 to 5?  It’s not only unrealistic, but harsh as well.

Anyway, the key issue for women was co-opting, which meant to adopt the white man’s belief systems and begin judging others based on this belief structure.  This was always deletorious to women.  White men rarely saw the sensibility to being a sensitive and caring individual in the work place.

Ack, and that’s why I am angry with Oprah.  The economic tyranny of her magazine is offensive.  I was born to a very poor and large southern family.  I grew up with a fervent desire to gain traction in the economic community of the United States.  I went to college and then to graduate school and then, when that was not enough I became certified in addictions therapy so that I could help others.

At no time ever, have I had enough money to spend $268.00 on a skirt or a shirt or a pair of shoes.  It’s just not done.  Oh sure, you can say that since I had several children and certainly am in love with several grandchildren, that is the reason for not spending such obscene quantities of money on myself.

For a dress that costs $500.00 there should be ‘2 men and a small boy’ sewing exactly to my specifications.  But there is not.  And in fact, I am finding that more and more money is worthless.  If I spend $80.00 on a dress my money is worthless…  it was a ‘cheap’ purchase.  The fact is that with a graduate degree $80.00 is still three hours of a working day and when you figure in taxes, etc., it is more like 5 hours of a working day.

I also belong to a little known organization that concerns itself with how and what Americans are paid in wages.  For the last several years the battle has been on – to raise the minimum wage in America.  Do you know how many people make less than $10.00 an hour in America?  Just think of this: every fast food restaurant, all convenience stores and every single Walmart in the country.  $8.00 X 40 hours X 52 weeks = $16,640.00 per year.  You know that it is an impossible wage?  So if buying a $268.00 shirt won’t happen for me…then you know that fully half of the rest of the country cannot even imagine a $268.00 shirt.

What I call this is Oprah using her influence to an unfair advantage with economically compromised women.  We love Oprah so much that we want to buy her “favorite things” yet when we do, we lower our credit score because we cannot possibly pay for Oprah’s favorite things with cash.  Who can?  Apparently enough women to keep the mega advertising machine of Oprah rolling along, but only for the very well off.

I guess I wanted Oprah to care about the economically disadvantaged. She does not seem to care, she has her billions and just like every other white male with a billion dollars she uses her influence and name to make some more money for herself.  Of course.


This OR That

I was listening to my friend describe her new man friend and I began to get a bit uncomfortable.  According to my friend, her new boyfriend is a very generous man who gave his home and everything in it to his ex-wife.  He also told her about how generous he was to his ex-girlfriend showering gifts on her that she kept after they broke up.  As proof of his largesse he even showed my friend his ex-wife’s big beautiful house that he paid for.

My friend then proceeded to tell me how her new man friend reported being angry that women “always take advantage” of him.  He said that he is such a great guy and so generous that he gave everything away.  This has made him angry and explains why he has had angry outbursts with my friend…

No, I don’t think so – not any of it.  First of all, if you are generous, that is you giving to another.  Generous people do not get a return for their gift; that would belie the meaning of the word “gift”.  How is it possible to be taken advantage of, if you are giving?  The only explanation is that you expected something in return for your gift.  You expected a return on your investment – which again – is NOT a gift.

That is why I say this OR that, because either you are a generous soul who has given to other human souls freely – or more likely – a person who wants something in return for your monetary gifts to others.