Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Fat Girls Guide to Surviving Aerobics Class

This is a guest post by my friend Anna Edwards (of "buying porn for old people" fame).  Anna is an excellent gardener, a passionate crusader for human rights, and apparently does not wear a tennis bracelet to exercise class.  Amen.

A Fat Girl’s Guide to Surviving Aerobics Class
It’s resolution time again, and if, like me, you have resolved (yet again) to lose weight, exercise five times a week. . . . blah, blah, blah. . . . this is a guide for you.  I have struggled for years to overcome my insecurities about exercise and aerobics and have developed a few guidelines that work for me.
1)      Get a sports Bra!  Seriously.  There is nothing worse than watching helplessly as your girls perform a dance routine independent of the rest of your body.  If you weren’t self-conscious when you walked into the class, you are now.

If you have committed to buying a sports bra, go ahead and get the right size (ugly though it may be).  I recently found out that my C chest was really a D chest thanks to a bra fitting.  (I was in such denial that I asked for a second opinion).  Let’s just say wearing the right bra was both comfortable and empowering.  Once I knew the girls were okay, I could get on with my life.

Oh yeah, that demi-bra that is so comfortable is not going to work either.  Let just say, having a wardrobe malfunction mid-sun salutation is not a good time.  (I am so grateful that this happened pre-YouTube.)

2)      Get comfortable shoes.  You don’t have to buy top of the line tennis shoes, but having comfortable shoes will make all of the difference in the world.  Plus, you won’t be able to miss class because you shoes don’t fit.  (In my house, this is a viable excuse).

3)      Wear clothes that are comfortable to you.  Wow, I detect a theme.  I don’t subscribe to the notation that you have to wear designer workout wear to enjoy an aerobics class.  Except for the annoying woman wearing the tennis bracelet, full-makeup and Juicy Couture sweats, no one will notice what you are wearing.  

4)      Stand at the front of the class.  I know this may seem counter intuitive, but hear me out.  There is nothing more demoralizing than looking ahead at a sea of skinny women doing aerobics.  Standing in the front offers a number of benefits, including the elimination of the aforementioned sea. 

First, you can actually see the instructor and the intricate, crazy choreography.   This won’t keep you from losing count or getting out of sync, but it guarantees that you will pick up the steps quicker, maybe even in a single class. 

Second, from this vantage point, you will notice that you are not biggest klutz this side of the Mississippi River.  Since you can actually see the instructor, you may have a leg up on those skinny women in the back.

5)      Don’t fear the mirror (even in the front row).  The mirror can be your friend.  It allows you to see the annoying women in the tennis bracelet stumble on the last turn/high kick/dance move (insert smug smile here).  It also allows you to monitor your movements and check your alignment so you can avoid injury.

If you really can’t deal with the mirror, most studios have a “dead spot” in the room, where you can’t see yourself clearly (yes, even in the front row).  Note:  these spots are prime real estate in aerobics classes, so plan to get to class early to snag the best spots.

 I also spend most of the class with my eyes trained on the instructor to make sure I’m moving (for the most part) in the same direction as the rest of the class.  This significantly reduces the time I have to evaluate and judge my appearance.

6)      Pick a class you actually like.  I know this seems obvious, but I have dedicated hours (weeks even) to aerobic activities I hate.  I have tried step classes several times over the years and wondered why I always feel stupid and useless . . . . It turns out that I despise step classes with a hatred usually reserved for Hitler and other nefarious public officials (who will remain nameless, thank you). 

Life is too short to waste time on activities you hate.  Exercise should be hard, but have an element of fun.  Keep trying classes until you find something you like.  I recently tried Zumba and found that, despite my genetic inability to dance, I loved it. 

7)      Drink water.  Seriously.  There is nothing to gain from getting dehydrated. (My husband will attest to that fact, just ask him about the Post-workout debacle of 2004. . . . Shameful.) If you are working out hard, you need to take water breaks.  Most aerobics instructors will not give you time for water breaks, so you need monitor your own needs.  If you feel like crap or have a headache after a class, chances are you didn’t drink enough water.  Exercise is hard enough without adding a (totally preventable) headache.

8)      Give yourself a break.  Nobody gets every step in an aerobics class right, especially the first time out (expect for maybe the annoying women in the tennis bracelet).  It will take time to figure out all the steps and even make it though a whole class without taking a break.  Be kind to yourself and honest about your limitations.  Pacing yourself will make sure you have the energy to actually attend a second (or third) class, which is ultimately, more important that killing yourself.
Finally, laugh it off.  Shit happens and it happens in aerobics class.  If you fart during a particularly intense toning session, blame the person next to you (it could work) or go to you happy place.  Whatever works.  Contrary to popular belief, this is not high school, and nobody will remember your faux pas.  If they do, you’ll have a new nickname to tryout. 
All Apologies:
I’d like to apologize to the annoying women in the tennis bracelet.  I don’t actually hate you; I just fail to understand your need to wear diamonds to an aerobics class.  We are all sweating, groaning and struggling just to get through.  Your perfect ensemble flies in the face of my wheezing efforts to stay upright.  I know, I know, everyone has the right to express themselves, but is it really too much to ask that you tone it down a bit.  Again, I apologize for any offense my comments may have caused by pointing out your unfortunate choice in apparel.  Thank you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Wonders of Social Networking

Social networking , facebook in particular (because who fucking understands twitter anyway?) is fantastic.  And it’s the devil.  The devil aspect is for another rant which includes the blatant stupidity of others and I can’t even begin to address that tonight.  Instead I will address facebook’s awesome power to reconnect long lost pals. Recently, facebook has reconnected me with some childhood friends, some of whom I haven’t seen since I was in middle school.  It is fantastic to see who they are today.  However, this afternoon the facebook gods saw fit to reconnect me with some fantastic ladies who I met during my first year at BSU, while living in the dorms(back before BSU was cool and when nobody gave a shit about their football team.)  Now, I am pretty sure we should all be glad that I didn’t die of alcohol poisoning that year but more importantly, these chicks were awesome!  I spent the evening traveling down memory lane and digging around for pictures in a box labeled “college” which included various photos of debauchery of which only a handful were appropriate to post on the Interwebz. Given that I really don’t know the “grown up” version of these awesome chicks, I figured I better not offend their husbands or grandmas, who may or may not approve of pictures laden with various cigarettes and booze or other college type substances (which, I feel compelled to point out, I haven’t used since 1999.) 

It’s always amazing to me how things can seem like so long ago, and at the same time, just like yesterday. It’s kind of like your children.  When mine are beating the crap out of each other and yelling a horrible version of Brak’s “Don’t touch me!”
 I feel like 9 years has been forever and my God are you sure it hasn't really been 12 years?  However, when they are sleeping peacefully and not moving or talking I think….wow, it seems like they were just born yesterday. That's how I feel about my early college days.  It seems like it was ages ago....and yet just like yesterday all at once.   Along those lines, some things I can remember as clear as a bell (like walking from the Central Park Apartments to the BSU Dorms in the middle of winter in the bitter cold because our ride left us) and some things I can barely piece together through foggy memories (please refer back to booze, cigarettes and various other substances).  It’s also amazing to me that no matter how old I get, in my own mind I am still 20.  This is a blessing and a curse, because as my dear friend would say….it is not appropriate for the 34 year old me to wear cropped hello kitty tee shirts anymore.  On the other hand, I heard this quote today: "All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, and I promise you, something great will come of it."  Now, I KNOW my 20 year old self is more likely to muster up insane courage than my 34 year old self is, so this could be a benefit. Fundamentally, I feel like it’s important that something great come of this life.  Great is all relative though, in retrospect. Great could be curing cancer or facilitating world peace and such as.  Or, it could simply be not dying of alcohol poisoning in 1996.  I guess if that’s the case, I am an EPIC WIN.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Excuse me manservant, would you like a tooth with those potatoes?

It's nearing the end of dinner. Trevor is helping himself to more mashed potatoes.
Emma: "Daddy, while you are up can I have some more mashed potatoes"
Trevor: "Sure you can"
Trevor: "Um, you need to hand me your plate"
Emma: "Sure thing man servant"
In the 2 seconds my husband was speechless, we all hear a gagging, dry heaving noise and everybody rubber necks over to Gracie.
Me: "Grace! Are you choking?!?"
Suddenly, Grace gags again and out of her mouth flies blood, saliva, and a rather large tooth. She runs to the bathroom. My husband runs after her.
Emma: "Is somebody going to give me those potatoes, because I am still hungry"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


My baby girl has such a hard time going to bed. I used to think it was because she was naughty and didn’t want to sleep. Now I think she just has a lot of thoughts in her head that she can’t get rid of. Several nights ago, after she had come out of her room 5 times already asking for water and another kiss and “more chapstick” etc (please see Go The F*#@ to sleep) she started hollering “Mommy!” “Mommy!” When I came into her room to find out what the F*#$ could possibly be so important to a 5 year old at 10pm at night she asked, “Mommy, can you please explain to me how brains work?” Um, WTF? That falls under the category of TV and the Internet and I do not F’ing have any idea but I am just glad they do. So I say , “well you see, it’s like Magic. Kind of like fairies and Santa.” Fortunately for her, my husband heard this exchange and came running in to save the day with a disgruntled “don’t tell her that” look on his face. He then proceeded to talk for 15 minutes about energy and neurons and synapses and stuff. Huh, well I’ll be damned...who knew? Luckily for me,in a redeeming moment while I was sitting on the edge of her bed last night she said, “mommy, the earwigs are asleep now right? Because daddy told me they are all asleep at night in their beds so they won’t be coming in here.” Ohhhhhhhhhh reeealllyyy. Earwigs are his kryptonite I guess. I would have just said a magic fairy comes at night and kills them. They will never hurt you. Kinda like how Santa brings your toys on Christmas Eve and then leaves. Only with earwigs and death and such as. Magic.

Monday, June 27, 2011

What kind of person gives old people porn? An awesome one.

Several weeks ago, I was frantically searching for a birthday present for my mother.  My mom and dad have birthday's that are less than 30 days apart and this year, they both turned 60.  For this momentous occasion, I had already commissioned a documentary of their lives made by my friend and producer Daniel Marces at Secram Studios.  However, on Thursday night, 2 days before the birthday party, I hormonally decided I needed "presents".  Fortunately, I was in Casper hanging out with my friend Anna for work related reasons.  After she took me to an Indian restaurant (WTF? Casper has an Indian restaurant?) we went to Target to mill about.

I bought my dad a Zac Brown Band cd as he recently decided he want to learn to play "Chicken Fried".  Suddenly I had a thought.  ANNA!  You know that one show about kings and shit and Victorian stuff that was on HBO?  Maybe they have a boxed set of that.  "Uh, the Tudors?  That has a lot of sex in it." says Anna.  *snicker* "Oh Anna," I say, "my mom's cool.  She'll like it."  Anna was raised by fundamentalist Mormons so I scoffed at her "a lot of sex" comment.  "OK," she says, "your mom sounds rad."  I purchase the Tudors.  I give it to my mother.  She has never heard of it and seems pleased.  She likes kings and Victorians and shit. I should have remembered that Anna is not uptight, or Mormon.  Anna used to live on the East Coast and is a liberal. 

Fast forward 2 weeks.  My husband and I meet my parents at the lake to set up shop for the fourth of July weekend, an important occasion in my family.  After a whole day of "Farther? Farther? Farther? FUCK! while trying to strategically back a camper/boat/trailer into a wooded, un-level area, everybody is tired and sunburnt.  As my dad walks off my mom looks over at me slyly and this conversation occurs:

Mother:  That movie you gave me is like soft core porn!

Me:  Ya, sorry.  I didn't realize it was that bad, I should have listened to Anna.

Mother:  Well, it's ok because that guy is a hottie.  But it's all sexed up!  Like, sex pots.  The whole thing is sex!

Me: Well, that's what kind of daughter I am.  I give old people porno for their birthdays.

Honestly, I am not even sure what that meant?  Sex pots?  Sexed up?  Hotties?  I am sure a good interpretation is "I can't believe my daughter gave me this soft core porn that is sexed up with sex pots and hotties!"

So, adult children of old people...take heed.  Do not purchase a snuggie, or a chia pet or bingo cards as gifts.  Purchase The Tudors.  Or a subscription to late night Cinemax.  Or a pay per view gift card.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seriously though..........

You would think, given that I can't seem to shut up most of the time, that I would have a lot more to say in this blog.  Welp, no.  Apparently.  It's been 5 months since I filled you in on Cocky Caw Caw and his bizness and you would think that something fantastical had happened in 5 months.  Welp, no.  Actually, something fantastical did happen.  My grandparents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.  My husband and I didn't kill each other.  My 15 year old schnoodle is still alive.  My parents turned 60.  My niece turned one.  My baby lost her first tooth and then swallowed it and cried for an hour.  My big girl went from a baby 2nd grader to a very sophisticated 3rd grader.  My husband is great at fixing bloody noses and my 5 year old COULD have diabetes.  At least, that's what she announced the other day. My girls sang a duet in the school talent show.  Gracie can play the beginning of a Metallica song on her guitar and Emma wants a drum kit for her birthday.  Hmmmmm.  Apparently quite a few fantastical things happened in 5 months.  

Here are a few pictures I have taken in the five months since we left Cocky Caw Caw and his entourage in Kauai.

In case you were wondering, mocking people IS a pastime of mine.  Sorry.  (not really).  Welp, there it is.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cocks, Noise and other such annoyances

At the beginning of this month, we went to Hawaii on vacation.  Specifically Kauai.  We left Cheyenne the night before our plane left, because of an impending snow storm.  The next day, we got up and headed to DIA where we took a 2 hour flight to Seattle, and then a 6 hour flight from Seattle to Lihu'e, Kauai.  Suicidally, we had 2 kids with us(3 if you count my niece).  We arrived in Lihu'e at about 10 pm and from there we rented a car and drove about 15-20 minutes to our condo which was in Waipouli/Kappaa.  It was, of course very late by the time we checked in and brought all our luggage up. It was about midnight Hawaii time which was 3 am Wyoming time.  So we all just fell into bed, exhausted.  About 15 minutes after we had gotten into bed, an ambulance went by with sirens blazing (only time that happened on the whole trip!)  Soon afterward, a strange sound (well, not so strange if you are from a rural area) began.  

COCKADOODLEDOO!  Repeatedly.  Loudly.  Close to our room.  Trevor and I got up and went out on the balcony.  We discussed that this rooster must be someone's pet and how if you were the neighbor to these people you might have to have a friendly discussion with them or perhaps the rooster might meet an untimely demise.  We shut all the doors and windows, and went back to sleep.  That morning, after only several hours of rest, the crowing began again!  This time we all went out on the balcony to ponder the vicinity of the offender.  Low and behold!  This rooster was in the parking lot of our hotel.  And, he had groupies.  2 chickens who followed him everywhere.

The kids loved him and took pictures of him with their kiddie cameras.  They named him "Cocky Caw Caw" and they talked about him incessantly.  Turns out, Kauai is full of feral roosters.  Apparently, they were displaced by a hurricane and never found their way back to their homes.  If you drive along the highway in Kauai, Cocky Caw Caw and his friends are wandering beside the road!  They wander on beaches, in parking lots and in people's yards.  THEY.ARE.EVERYWHERE.

And Kauai has taken this chance to capitalize on Cocky Caw Caw and his friends.  They sell shirts, hats, stickers and anything else you can think of with Kauai's official bird:  THE ROOSTER on them.  We found this very amusing.  Mostly until about four am at which time it ceased to be amusing and became violence inducing to the point where we contemplated showing Cocky Caw Caw the bright side of a big rock.  Luckily, we left Kauai a week later with out having murdered their national bird.