Relinquishing the Bling in Favor of the Bump: when to take off the rings

November 13, 2011 § 9 Comments

It’s wintertime. Or so they tell me. Here in the Hab. part of the world, the days are still reaching into the high 70s, and many of us sigh longingly at the display tables of sweaters, no matter how thinly-knit. There will probably be a week or so in January when we can gleefully don those duds, but not quite yet.

In the wintertime, so the stories say, cold weather wins out. Historically, in colder climes, my hands and feet shrink. During the winter, my perfectly-fitted wedding and engagement rings spin deliriously out of control on my left hand. I am cautious not to applaud too vigorously at football games, mindful not to gesticulate too wildly, for the rings will go (and have gone) flying.

This winter, however, appears to be different. I would like to claim environmental influences–because it is still so warm outside, you see, that, that, is why I can never seem to feel cool. Why I have the A/C on a week and a half before Thanksgiving. Why I point a box fan directly at my spot on the couch. It is the fault of global warming, I insist, why my hands and feet are growing instead of shrinking.

And that’s when I let out the resigned sigh. Tomorrow is the beginning of my third trimester. And even though I have only gained 8 pounds (as of two weeks ago…Tuesday’s prenatal appointment could reveal slightly different results), the third trimester brings with it edema. Every pregnancy is different, of course, so not all women swell in the same ways, but I do believe all women swell. And I have swollen, friends. I am disturbed by my distended features. My fingers look to me like Vienna sausages. My feet like hooves. (Robert holds that they are not these deformities, but I can tell…everything is rounder.)

These past couple of days, I have noticed an increasing difficulty in removing my symbolic rings. It’s time. I can still wriggle them off, with some difficulty and threat of pain, but for how much longer is not clear.

So now what? Do I put them on a chain around my neck? Do I store them in a box until my fingers return to normal? (Will my fingers, never delicate by any stretch of the definition, return to normal??) I know that if I stubbornly continue to wear them throughout the rest of this pregnancy, I run the risk of never removing them again. Robert has reservations about my wearing these beautiful rings on a chain around my neck–he envisions disasters resulting in the loss of one or more of the diamonds that encircle the bands. Or of the wearing down or stretching out of the settings’ brackets. I can’t say that I blame him for his concerns; I share them, of course. But the idea of leaving the rings in a box…not to see them every moment of every day…well, I have been pouting all morning just at the mere thought.

But it is time. The bump is winning this battle of wills. As my belly rounds and expands, so round and expand my hands and feet. It’s time to relinquish the bling.

Happy Early Birthday!

May 29, 2011 § 4 Comments

Today, I worked. Hard.

This evening, we got together with Robert’s family and celebrated his birthday a week early (literally–his birthday is next Monday).

I was able to take the evening off and actually enjoy our time with his family. I didn’t think about my dissertation once…unless someone asked me directly.

I’m truly grateful for evenings like this one. I’m grateful that I have a good relationship with my in-laws. And I’m grateful that Robert comes from such a truly loving family.

Happy early birthday, honey. I hope you enjoy your weeklong celebration!

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!

Mmm...birthday cake from Shakes! That's vanilla custard in the center, folks. Delish!

Scrumptious Second Anniversary

May 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

Only one word can describe the meal Robert and I prepared together for our second anniversary: scrumptious!

Robert grilled steaks that had been rubbed down with olive oil and a dry steak rub while I cooked potatoes au gratin (and used a mandolin slicer for the very first time–I liked it!). Dessert was finished in time to put the potatoes into the oven.

Here’s our dinner table:

As we were setting the table, I realized that we had forgotten a veggie. Oops.

The delicious, deep red wine featured here is a Tempranillo by Biltmore. If you’ve never had it, I think it’s freaking amazing. We had been saving it from our trip to the Biltmore with our friends back in September. It’s extremely robust, dry, and blooms all the way down. Like I said, I adore it!!

For dessert, we had a yummy cinnamon swirl coffee cake, which I had never made before. In fact, I had just found the recipe on-line that afternoon. It was so delicious.

Delicioso!

I drizzled a powdered sugar glaze over the top of it and finished it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

And here’s the inside:

OMG, can I have my dessert before dinner tonight, please??

The dark line you see there is the cinnamon “swirl.” Sure, it didn’t really swirl but whatever. It’s in there and it’s delicious. The recipe calls for a cinnamon and granulated sugar mixture for the swirl. I read some of the comments and chose to go with a cinnamon and brown sugar swirl. I think the color contrast is really appealing, and the flavor is incredible!

I also used Swan’s cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. I found the cake to be crumbly, but I think a lot of coffee cakes are pretty crumbly. (I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I had used AP!)

Last night, I went to bed with a full and happy tummy. And maybe I was a little bit tipsy, too. Just a perfect anniversary!

730 days of wedded bliss

May 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

Today Robert and I celebrate our second wedding anniversary! 🙂

As I write this, our dinner is cooking, the cake for dessert is cooling, and Robert is preparing the dinner table. He bought me the prettiest floral arrangement from a local florist and surprised me with it this afternoon.

And they smell as lovely as they look, too!

Two years ago this evening, we were taking pictures and having dinner with our family and friends.

One year ago this evening, we were in Destin, gorging ourselves on the most delicious fondue meal we’d ever had at the Melting Pot.

Tonight, we’re having steaks, potatoes au gratin (which I’ve never made before), and cinnamon coffee bundt cake (also, a new recipe I’d never made before).

I considered making a red velvet cake for our dessert, since that was what our wedding cake was (well, half of it, anyway–each tier was made of both vanilla cake and red velvet cake, which is a combination of our favorite flavors). But the process was a bit messier than I was interested in doing over a single afternoon.

This dinner, though, will be totally delicious. 🙂 I love that after two years, we’re enjoying a quiet dinner at home. One that we both had a hand in making. I love that we know each other’s food preferences so well that we can make a delicious dinner for each other without having to ask whether or not the other likes that food.

We have shifted from those exciting, butterfly days of getting to know one another. Now we have created our little home, started our little family of two (plus the four furry ones), and we’re happy as can be.

Here’s to two years.

I love you, my most favorite person in the whole world. 🙂

In celebration

May 22, 2011 § 8 Comments

Two years ago today, I was practicing a walk down the aisle.

Two years ago today, I held hands with my favorite person in the whole world and echoed the priest’s dialogue.

Two years ago today, I giggled my way through the mime, through the playing pretend.

Two years ago today, I prepared to step forward into a new identity, a new skin, a new life, a new relationship.

Two years ago today, I mingled with family and friends the last day I would be known by my maiden name.

Two years ago today, I slept fitfully, filled with anxiety and excitement for what the next day would bring.

Today, I am celebrating with the one person who knows exactly how I feel before I can even form the words.

Today, I am stronger, happier, better than I have ever been before.

Today, I have started a home with the only man who could make that home as warm and loving as it is.

On the eve of our second anniversary, I am flooded with comparisons of my old life and this one. I am hardly the same person any more.

And I have Robert to thank for that.

Quaint, home-grown Easter Sunday

April 24, 2011 § 12 Comments

“I’m hungry,” I whined to Robert sometime around 9 this morning. “There’s no food in this whole house!” This is an exaggeration, of course, but what I meant to say was that there was no food I wanted to eat for breakfast in this whole house.

So, my loving husband loaded me in the car and off we went to the grocery store for a quick pick-up of a “couple” of items. A “couple” of items turned into “should we make pancakes or biscuits for breakfast this morning?” and “maybe we should have soy-free tacos for dinner this week….” (More on that tomorrow night!)

We shopped for close to an hour, starving along the way, and once home: we baked.

I rolled out Heart Smart Bisquick (it’s soy-free), popped the gooey-delicious disks into the oven while Robert cooked himself bacon and eggs (I can’t seem to eat them in the morning…I feel sick for the rest of the day), and then I set to work on preparing for Monday night’s dinner.

“You know,” I told my starving husband at 10:15. “I think we should go ahead and make the homemade tortilla shells right now, since we’re baking…that way we won’t have to try to do it tomorrow when we’re exhausted from work.”

Robert agreed. And then lived to regret his agreement.

I followed the recipe to the T, mixing my six cups of AP flour, 1 1/4 cups of soy-free shortening (palm oil instead of vegetable oil, thankyouverymuch), single tablespoon of baking powder and single teaspoon of salt with two cups of hot water (gradually added once the dry mixture creates small, crumbly balls). Robert manned our electric skillet while I attempted to roll out something that was reminiscent of a tortilla shell, in shapes that are utterly mind-boggling (the last couple do look a bit circular). And by 11:30, we had made a ton of thin, gorgeous, tasty tortilla shells for our soy-free taco night tomorrow. We froze half of them so that Robert could enjoy delicious breakfast burritos…for the remainder of the year.

Sure, we didn’t have our Easter Sunday breakfast until 11:30 this morning. And sure, our kitchen looked like we’d murdered the Pillsbury Doughboy for a little while.

But we ate semi-homemade biscuits for breakfast. And we made flour tortillas from scratch together.

Home-grown? Yes. Quaint? Cooking as a couple is as quaint as it gets. But a happy Easter? You bet! 🙂

Now, back to work!

P.S. I failed to mention that I burst a blood vessel in my ring finger today. I think it was from the strain of lifting some extremely heavy glass bowls out from under the counter. It doesn’t hurt, but my finger looks a little like it was in a fight.

The Real World: when does it stop feeling like playing house?

February 26, 2011 § 17 Comments

You could say that as a kid I had a wild imagination. I didn’t just play house with my sister. No, no. She and I were sisters who had been married to army men who were both in the same platoon and had been recently deployed after we each gave birth to twins. Oh yeah. We didn’t play house. We rocked house. We imitated super-long-distance telephone calls from an “imaginary” place called Kuwait (it was the Gulf War, after all). We received heartbreaking letters detailing how our wonderful husbands had lost their lives serving their country. And then, we two sisters were alone in the world, against all odds…with our four babies.

Imagine my surprise when, after I got married to Robert, I came to realize that my childhood play failed to prepare me for what real marriage is like.

I mentioned on Valentine’s Day that Robert and I were saving our money to get a breakfast room table. Last Friday, we visited a good number of furniture stores in search of the best table. Saturday we bought it. It’s gorgeous, has a table leaf so that it can open up to an impressive 54 inches on all four sides, and we purchased two additional chairs for a total of six. Extravagant? Not so. When my parents come to town, we often have to eat in separate groups–four at our little teensy banquet table that we have now and two on the couch on top of (very nice) TV trays. When our new table is delivered a week from today, we will be able to seat eight people comfortably around the table. (We didn’t get four additional chairs for a total of eight because we couldn’t quite afford that.) I cannot wait until we receive our table and can finally entertain on it!

Today…today, we took a road trip around our little town and grabbed a bunch of brochures…on local houses. Our eyes were opened as to the expensive areas, the expensive floor plans, and the expensive amenities that we originally thought we just had to have. (I so want a two-car garage!)

After we returned home, our heads swimming, I realized we were going about this absolutely backwards. This isn’t like shopping for shoes or couches. You can’t just go browse around town and compare prices at each location. This is a situation where you have to know the amount of money you have in your pocket and select a house that fits that budget. (Although I trust most of my readers aren’t condescending, please allow me to remind everyone that I have never owned a home nor looked into owning a home. I’m a renter, through and through. This is my first foray. Be gentle in mocking comments. ;)) So, we’ll need to make a trip to the bank and speak to someone about home loans.

There’s some work to be done before we do that, but at least in the meantime I came to realize that Robert and I are on similar pages in regards to size and type of house we’d like to settle into (at least as our starter home). One of the things we have to accomplish before we sit down with someone at the bank is a salaried job for Amanda. That’s going to be part of my project over Spring Break in a couple of weeks–look for work after graduation. (I’ve already offered before, but seriously…anyone want to pay me about $30,000/year to read Shakespeare to you in your living room? I do voices and funny arms and everything!)

But here’s my greatest curiosity. Robert and I will celebrate our second anniversary in May, but I can’t quite wrap my mind around the fact that we’re grown-ups. Sometimes, most of the time, I still feel like we’re playing house. It doesn’t feel real. These past few weeks, looking at grown-up furniture to put in grown-up houses, I somehow felt like an even younger version of myself than I am. Is this our lives, really? Are we really talking about furniture and houses and cars and…babies? While it’s exciting and thrilling, it’s also surreal.

When does it stop feeling like we’re just kids playing house?

(P.S. I finished and e-mailed off my introduction this morning around 10 a.m. I’m actually…fond…of it. That’s an unusual thing for me to feel about a piece of academic writing, but I can’t deny it. These next two weeks are really crunch time while I work on drafting the next chapter. If I can meet this goal, then by Spring Break, March 12th, I will have a half of my dissertation drafted.)

Happy Love Day!

February 14, 2011 § 10 Comments

Before Robert, I was a member of the Lonely Hearts Club (well…not officially…). I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would never find love, that I was not a lovable person, that I was destined for a life of loneliness. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that every Valentine’s Day would be Singles Awareness Day for the rest of my life. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my home would be empty unless I brought in animals (like my two beautiful kitty cats Callie and Beatrice).

And then I met Robert in January 2007. And all of a sudden, not only was I feeling things I had never before felt, but I was also faced with a peculiar dilemma:

I had never had a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day before!

I polled my girlfriends on my old LiveJournal as well as my MySpace profile for help: what do you get a boy for Valentine’s Day when you’ve only been officially dating for ten days? (We officially started our relationship on Super Bowl Sunday, February 4, 2007.) Of all the ideas my friends offered me, it was Tonia who offered the best one: a journal of some nature with favorite poetry in it. I loved that idea. So, I set to work writing a number of poems that reminded me of Robert and/or the way he made me feel. I purposefully avoided poems that incorporated the word “love” because we certainly hadn’t made it that far into our relationship by Valentine’s Day.

Robert took me to dinner at a highish-end restaurant (for this area’s standards), which was quite a treat. I bought a couple of date night essentials (a new dress, new shoes, a new necklace), and I was ready to go. Our Valentine’s Day dinner was romantic, tasty, and intimate. I started to fall in love with him that night.

And I’m continuing that trajectory today. Ever falling in love with him…but it oddly feels like falling up. I’m certainly not down, am I?

Robert is taking me to dinner at that same restaurant tonight. We haven’t been on a date there just the two of us in quite a long while. I’m really looking forward to it…although, this time around I haven’t put forth as much mental anguish agonizing over my outfit and what to give him for Valentine’s Day. We are actually saving up a little money to buy a new dinner table (not for the dining room…something closer to a breakfast room table, since we do not have the cash flow for a whole dining room table). That will be our Valentine’s Day gift to each other. And how grown-up are we? Lol. Buying furniture for a romantic gift. Lol. It happens, folks.

And although I love writing about my husband and our relationship, I had another intention for today’s post.

I wanted to write a letter to my past self. From A.Hab. to the younger version she was when she was still A.Wo.

To the Lonely Hearts Club unofficial member:

Valentine’s Day hurts. It reminds you of what you do not have and encourages you to dig your heels in even harder to believe that you don’t even want what you don’t have. You want to beat them at their own game–if you are to be rejected in love, then you want to reject love first. This is not healthy.

Instead, today I want you to be grateful for all the ways in which love presents itself to you daily. You may not experience romantic love today, but you don’t need to. You are loved. Consider your family who have supported you every step of the way. Consider your friends who make you laugh, with whom you spend your free time. When you spend a day wallowing in self-pity and in misery that you are not romantically linked with anyone, you end up allowing your own happiness to be determined by something that is lacking. Rather than focusing on the lack, focus on the abundance in your life.

*****

And this is what I want to say to everyone who might hate Valentine’s Day because of what it represents and how it might hurt their feelings. Please spend today thinking about how love reveals itself to you on a daily basis. This does not have to be erotic or romantic love. But love in general. Even on our darkest days, we can say that we are loved by at least one person in this wide world. And I think that it is much more worth our while if we spend our time celebrating that love than wallowing in self-pity because we may not have a date on Valentine’s Day.

Revel in love of any form today.

Feel grateful that you are alive and well and capable of feeling loved by someone.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

L’eggo My Eggo: the stupid husband phenomenon

February 4, 2011 § 7 Comments

Perhaps you have seen Eggo’s latest ad campaign in which they introduce their new slogan: “So simple you could make them yourself; so delicious you don’t have to.”

If you’re not familiar with this commercial, take a gander here:

Seems innocuous enough, yes? So, what’s A.Hab. got her knickers in a wad for?

What bothers me about this commercial (and yes, others like it) is that it plays into what I call the “stupid husband phenomenon.” I don’t know when this started, but I have become increasingly aware of it in the past, oh, ten years or so. I don’t know how it started, but that hardly seems important. What is important is that this commercial (and the others like it) employs a little tactic where they write a part for a smart, talented, beautiful wife…and her lumbering oaf of a husband.

In this commercial, the husband offers to give his wife an extra 30 minutes in the morning, treating her with breakfast. Wifey seems thrilled by the prospect, happily rolling over and snuggling his newly-abadoned pillow. Hubby behaves as though he’s getting away with something. A little b-ball, a little golf in the kitchen; before he knows it, the 30 minutes he promised her is near up. Uh-oh! Better get those Eggos into the toaster and quick!

All righty, folks, let’s break this down, shall we?

1. As any married person or anyone living with someone else will tell you, getting an extra half hour in the morning is among the best gifts a partner can give. When Robert gives me a kiss and says, “You stay here. I’ll take care of the dogs this morning,” and shuts the bedroom door behind him…what do I do? I go right back to sleep, happily in love with my awesome “30 more minutes” giving husband. Do I care what he does after he feeds the dogs and takes them out? Nope. He could watch television, tool around on his laptop; I really don’t care. I just got 30 extra minutes! So, why does Eggo’s hubby act like he’s getting away with putzing around the house? (As my dad might call it.) His wifey probably doesn’t care. And why doesn’t she? Well, that leads me to my second point.

2. How did those sneaky little Eggos make it into the freezer, folks? Did hubby dash out to the store and surreptitiously bring them into the house, carefully covert? No…he was spending his 30 minutes playing kitchen golf. Those Eggos made it into the house because someone purchased them and brought them home. Is it possible that wifey wasn’t with her husband when the waffles were purchased? Sure. Robert sometimes has to go grocery shopping without me. But is it likely that she wouldn’t have seen them? They have two kids, so she’s probably making breakfasts on weekday mornings (hence the thrill at sleeping in one more half hour). Wifey knows about those waffles, folks. And if she knows about the waffles, why would she have a problem consuming them? She bought them (or at least hubby did); it’s not like it’s a great conspiracy. When hubby tells wifey that he’s going to take care of breakfast and wants her to wait about half an hour, she doesn’t care about what he does with that half hour because either way she’s getting some extra dozing time and breakfast. She’s already won!

The commercial ends with hubby acting like a moron when wifey asks if there is coffee. She already knows there’s no coffee–she nods and has a particular little grin on her face, both suggesting this might be a normal lapse in his memory. Maybe she’s always the one to prepare their morning coffee. Hubby says “yes,” and then quickly, “I will.” Why did he say “yes” in the first place? Why not just say, “I will”? Or, “Oops! I knew I forgot something!” Or any myriad other responses. Why lie? Because he’s a moron, folks. That silly husband. And that funny, smart, beautiful wife. She is so patient with him.

Why are there so many ads that employ this particular tactic? Does it actually sell the product better? The oafish husband is such a tired trope at this point–of all my married friends (and family), I have yet to encounter a truly oafish husband like the ones I see on television. The husbands I’ve encountered are intelligent, caring, and loving. They take pride in providing for their families; hell, they take pride in their families. Let’s just start there. I know that we women tend to joke that our husbands don’t “get” us and that, oh, sometimes we have to repeat ourselves because they weren’t listening the first, second, or third time. But, uh, Robert has repeated himself, too. I space out, too. I get distracted, too. There are times when I don’t “get” what he’s talking about or why he cares about something. Am I a stupid, air-headed wife? Absolutely not.

You know what would really speak to me as an audience member? I would respond quite well to an ad campaign where the husband is depicted as loving his wife and making deliberately thought-out decisions that demonstrate just how much pride he takes in his family.

I understand that Kellogg’s just wanted to make people laugh. I get that. But what are we left laughing at? And at whose expense? It leaves me wondering precisely what they ultimately advertised: their waffles or sexism?

Lightbulb: Overeating

December 21, 2010 § 6 Comments

**Please note: I have been intensely aware that my latest blog posts have been extremely…vague…personal…thematically unhappy in general. I’m sorry. I know that it’s not fun to read a person’s blog that is consistently dark and dreary–the more fun blogs are those that can at least elicit a smile or a laugh from the reader. I think, though, that this is indicative of my current head space. I want to go back to the light and happy version of A.Hab., but I need to work through this first. Thanks for understanding and for still reading.**

Last week, I was called a perfectionist (or, rather, she said that she sensed “perfectionist-like tendencies”) by a friend. It wasn’t said in a cruel or judgmental way. Truthfully, she said it in more of a sympathetic, concerned way. I laughed it off initially and just said that yes, in fact I’m a Virgo, and that’s just how we are. But that doesn’t mean that her words didn’t stick and echo many days later. Over these past several days, I’ve been considering in what ways my perfectionism has manifested in my life. These are not in the order of importance. They are just in the order that they sprang to mind.

Academic: I’m working on four projects right now (finishing biography entries for an encyclopedia helmed by one of my professors, writing a dissertation, reading a book and writing its scholarly peer review for a prestigious journal, and lesson-planning a class of texts I’ve never taught before). I have this compulsion to do everything RIGHT. Perfectly right. As in, there is no room for error, no room for improvement, no room for CRITICISM right. The problem there is that I’d rather give up and watch television all day than actually work because the fear of failure is so unbelievably crippling.
Marriage: I want to be the very best wife in the whole world for Robert. Not because I worry about him judging me, but because I judge myself extremely harshly. Has Robert cooked dinner four nights out of this week and I’ve only cooked once? Bad wife. Am I falling behind on my laundry chores? Not dusting regularly? Or vacuuming regularly? Do I ask him to take the puppy out when I just don’t feel like getting up again? Bad wife. Do I forget about his allergies when I make dinner plans? Bad wife. Do I forget to check on how he’s feeling when he’s not well? Bad wife. Do I fall just short of loving him as much as he deserves to be loved? You guessed it. Bad wife.
Career: I know that I should do what I love to do, but what happens when I don’t know what I love? How will people judge me for my indecision? How will they judge me for the choice I ultimately come to? What if I make the wrong choice again and have to change career paths later on? Have I failed because I can’t seem to find myself in love with the career I should be in love with?

But I’m not interested in answering all of those questions right now. Today’s entry is about compulsive overeating.

One of the things that popped into my mind when I was meditating on my perfectionism was my weight.

Most perfectionists are twig-like anorexics, I thought. The phrase you hear over and over again on talk shows is that a perfectionist refused to eat because s/he wanted to exert the only control available: over what is put in the body. I don’t have that problem.

So then I started meditating over it a little bit more. And please know, this is not an attempt to create excuses for myself. Rather, it’s an attempt to explain where the hell I went wrong when I was growing up. I do not come from an obese family. I don’t come from a stick-figure family, either, but it’s not like every member of my family is significantly overweight. (For those who have never seen me, I’m 100 pounds overweight, according to the target BMI for someone my height. Those who have seen me consistently refuse to believe that I have 100 pounds to lose. They’re really sweet friends that I have.) I do not consider 10-15 pounds significantly overweight. 100 pounds? That’s a big ol’ problem. Pun fully intended.

Anyway, so I was trying to figure out how I can be a perfectionist in all other areas of my life…to the point where it’s fairly obvious to those around me…and yet not be a perfectionist with my weight. It didn’t seem to add up. Until I realized something tonight:

If a perfectionist seeks to control everything that goes into her body and her weight, then I am doing a perfect job of gaining weight.

I’ve always been amazing at self-sabotage, but this weight loss thing has always been my specialty in terms of self-sabotage. Sure, I’ll get started on the right foot: gym membership put to good use, personal trainer put to good use, eating habits reworked. I’ll lose weight, start feeling really good about myself and more energetic (maybe even sleep better), and then I’ll decide I’m not doing it well enough…and then it’s a slippery slope back down to where I was before I started attempting to “gain control.”

Turns out I have always had extreme control over myself. It’s just not been put to the best use.

So now, the question is this: now that I’ve figured out my problem, what the hell do I do about it? I mean, I’ve attempted to lose weight ever since I was 16 years old in tenth grade. (Which is ironic because looking back at those pictures, I was adorable. Poor girl had no idea what she looked like. And now? Ugh. It’s a shame, I think.) My point is that I know the ropes quite well. I know how to lose weight. Fewer calories in, more calories out. It matters what kind of sugars you ingest. It matters what kind of calories you ingest. Just because something is labeled as 100 calories does not necessarily make it a good decision. Cardio is the only way to lose belly fat, and strength training is the only way to maintain skin elasticity.

I’ve got all that down pat. I can give amazing advice to those who are seeking health tips. The irony, of course, is that the advice is coming from someone 100 pounds overweight. Such ethos, right? Heh.

So, aside from how to lose weight…what on Earth do I do about the perfection issue? Because I have a really bad feeling that if I can’t tackle that beast, then I’ll never tackle my weight.

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