Posts Tagged ‘losing weight’

Losing Weight & Degrading Women Is Torture In “Dietland”

When it comes to recommendations, you expect me to suggest movies (you still need to see “Lilting”, “Bridegroom”,”Weekend”, and “Mr. Holmes”), music (“Deja Vu” by Giorgio Moroder, “Communion” by Years & Years, and “Emotion” by Carly Rae Jepsen were tops last year), or television shows (loving “The Man In The High Castle” and “Quantico” while I wait for my regulars to return.)

Last year, I even suggested a couple of books — the incredible “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins and “Day Four” by Sarah Lotz — both debut novels.

Normally, I read non-fiction books, autobiographies, and biographies.  Since it’s an election year, I’m going to devour political books this year and I’m starting off with “It Takes A Village” by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

However, thanks to “Entertainment Weekly”, I had to get one more book in before polluting my mind with politics.

It named “Dietland” by Sarai Walker as one of the ten best books of 2015.


And, I totally agree.  I devoured the stellar 307-page novel like Plum would choke down greasy cheeseburgers, cupcakes, and homemade lady fingers.

Okay, I need to back up because there’s also Alicia and we definitely can’t forget Jennifer!

“Dietland” is centered around Plum, a reclusive woman from California, now living in New York City and working for a fashion magazine catering to women.  Actually, her job, that allows her to work at home or from the cafe she frequents, is to answer emails from young women that think they’re writing to the editor of the magazine, Kitty, for advice.

And, she’s likely not working from the Austen Media Tower high rise in Manhattan because she doesn’t fit the editor’s or the magazine’s ideal woman mold — Plum is very overweight, clocking in at over 300 pounds.

Although she’s tried dieting and weight loss programs since she was young, her weight keeps going up.

She feels her only alternative is to have gastric bypass surgery.  That’ll allow “Alicia” (her given birth name and the skinny woman deep down inside her overweight body) a chance to shine — a chance to live life, wear fun clothes, date, and fall in love.  Those are the things that Plum feels she’ll never have.

One day, she realizes that she’s being followed.  This eventually leads to a confrontation with the person tailing her and Plum meeting other people including a woman with ties to a weight loss program Plum tried and failed at when she was younger.

In the meantime, a series of high profile events involving men suspected of rape, domestic violence, and other acts against women — directly or indirectly — are starting and gaining national and international attention.

These are not court cases.  No, I’m talking about men being dropped from a plane to their deaths in the desert and much more.

But, who’s doing this?

Is Jennifer the mastermind behind the series of attacks on men and the media that objectify women.  Is Jennifer an alias of one of the main characters or an underground group?  And, how long will it take before she starts a whole revolution of women lashing out at men and institutions that demean them with unrealistic expectations?

And, then the big question is how does this all tie into Plum and her aversion to saying the one word, the f-word, that she’s never been able to say about herself — that’s she fat!

Sarai Walker

“Dietland” is a stellar debut novel from Sarai (pronounced sa-RAY) Walker and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

Walker has mastered what it feels like to be an outsider.  An outsider that learns if you love yourself, it doesn’t matter what other small-minded people think — since killing them is still against the law!

In a perfect world and if Hollywood took real chances, this book would be optioned for a movie — like five minutes ago!


If You Call Me Stella, Then I’m Missing Something!

Peaches & Herb informed us that we had this “thing” and to “shake” it,  The System told us “don’t disturb this” thing,  Madonna said “get into the” this thing, and a book and a movie showed us how “Stella” got this thing back.  I need to pay attention to all of this great advice because I need to find my “groove” again!

Lately, when I get home from work, I’ve lost the motivation to get anything done in the afternoon.

While I’ve only been at my new job, which requires me to get up in the middle of the night, for about two months now, I can’t seem to find the “get up and go” to get much accomplished once I get home.  During my four-month “vacation” between jobs, I was writing new material in my blog daily.  Now, it takes all the energy I have to do “They Said What???” on Mondays, “Random Friday Thoughts” on Fridays (which is my favorite), and another blog or two during the week on some miscellaneous topic.

I know the weather is probably playing a big role in my lack of desire to do anything.  After a lackluster winter, we saw 13.2″ of snow fall in the last eleven days of February and 10.6″ of snow fall in the first 24 days of March.

March Snow

March temperatures were 7.7° below average and 21.9° colder than the record warm March temperatures a year ago!

And, April is pretty crappy, too.   We’ve already picked up more than 7″ of rain in the Quad Cities causing river and basement flooding in many hometowns and making this one of the wettest Aprils on record.

Flooding Moline

If that wasn’t bad enough, temperatures are running 3.6° below average and there were snowflakes in and around the Quad Cities yesterday, April 23rd!

So, everyone blames the weather (and sometimes, the weather person).  I would never do that since I know too many great meteorologists (and some sucky ones, too, and you don’t have to look too far to find them!).  🙂

However, weather aside, there are two larger contributing factors that I believe are to blame:  lack of sleep and not eating right.

When I worked a morning show in the past, I never got much sleep at night and I didn’t nap during the afternoon.  At that time, I had Miss ABBA, my golden retriever, and we spent the afternoons together walking, playing, and doing whatever we wanted.


The lack of sleep didn’t bother me.  Maybe subconsciously, I’m missing Miss ABBA more than I thought or maybe I just want another dog or two!   But, that doesn’t fit into the short-term schedule of the next two years of our lives.

But, now that I’m older, maybe I need to condition myself to take naps in the afternoon?

Another thing that needs to change is getting back to healthy eating and frequent buffets don’t fit into that plan.  As you know, I love, love, love to eat!

Spice Market Buffet Las Vegas

Last year, when Ray and I counted calories with, I lost 25 pounds over a seven-month period and he lost 30 pounds.  While we limited our buffets, we ate healthier and we exercised.  I still exercise every day, but the treadmill is starting to bore me to tears.

I’m know that when the weather gets warm on a regular basis and we start working out in the garden, the yard, and taking walks around the city, it’ll be easier to feel good, to be motivated, and to lose weight.  And, I’ll still be able to have an occasional buffet as a treat and not feel “blah” about it.

So, here’s to spring arriving and sticking around before the heat of summer takes over.

And, here’s to me getting off my a$s, feeling good, and finding the motivation to get “Into The Groove” because you know, “You can dance, for inspiration.  Come on, and when you do, get into the groove”!


Cows (And Now, Pigs) Can Breathe Easier

If you crave a juicy steak, feel free to throw it on the grill.  If a big plate of bacon sounds like your way to start the day, enjoy it.

As much as I love a medium rare steak, I can’t tell you the last time I had one.

As for beef, the only times in recent memory that I had anything that “contained” it was back in February and last week on pizza.  Now, if you noticed, the word contained was in quotation marks.  On February 2nd, on the one year anniversary of Miss ABBA’s last day alive, I had half of a double cheeseburger.  That was Miss ABBA’s favorite treat and she had one on that fateful night in 2012.  I know that that “beef” burger was probably was a combination of mystery meats and ingredients (my assumption is not scientific and that’s why the restaurant wasn’t mentioned).  And, the pizza I had recently had some “beef” on it.  Again, who knows what it really consisted of.

Cows Three little pigs

For quite some time, I’ve been overwhelmed by guilt when I pass pastures of cows or I’ve done stories with pigs that I know are heading “north” (from the movie, “Gordy”, meaning to be slaughtered) and I never look them in the eyes because I know what’s going to happen.

With that being said, I don’t plan on becoming a vegetarian.  I don’t have the same feelings when I look at chickens, turkeys, or fish.

However, after my fishing ordeal in Spirit Lake, Iowa, last Memorial Day, I did come to a revelation — my fishing days are done!  When I caught “Wally”, the walleye, and for circumstances that I won’t write about, I wasn’t able to release him or her and I had to eat it!  While it was tasty, I felt guilty because I saw the fish when it was alive.  That reminds me of a line from a recent episode of “Hannibal” on NBC, “Eating her is honoring her. Otherwise, it’s just murder.”


Last summer, I was very successful in losing 25 pounds with more exercise, eating less, and skipping buffets.  As you know from my blog and my posts on Facebook, I love buffets.  I love getting many samples of all kinds of food.

However, lately, I’ve indulged too many times and I’m finding it less rewarding, except for the desserts.  That will be harder to give up.  🙂

While I plan on taking Gretel to Osaka Buffet in May when she passes to the 7th grade and we’re taking Tammy out for Mother’s Day, I think I’ll limit my buffets to one a month.  This summer, before the Depeche Mode concert in August and my vacation in October, I want to lose about 15 pounds.

With nicer weather, I know it’ll be easier to get outside to walk more, work in the yard, and buy healthy local veggies from the farmer’s market.

Here’s to a late spring, summer, and fall with no beef and pork  for me and more veggies, seafood, chicken, and turkey.  (Sorry, chickens and turkeys — maybe next year!)

And, watching “Hannibal” definitely makes eating ANY meat less attractive!  🙂

Hannibal 3Hannibal 1 Hannibal 2  Hannibal 4

By the way, liver have been off my culinary menu since I was a kid.  My mother would make liver and onions and we had two options — eat it or leave it.  On those night, my sister and I didn’t eat!


Random Friday Thoughts — March 1, 2013

Happy March 1st everyone!

Can you believe that winter is over???  What?  It’s still winter?  Okay, if you go by the calendar then it’s still winter.  And, if you look outside across the metro Quad Cities with 9″ of snow on the ground in Moline, Illinois, it’s still winter.



But, since today is the first day of March, we meteorologist call the months of March, April, and May, “meteorological spring” since we’re now past the three coldest months of the year (from a climatological standpoint).

However, winter is not done by a long shot.  The storm that moved in last Tuesday is still producing flurries and light snow Friday morning.  Officially, in the Quad Cities, 9.3″ of snow from that storm through 6 a.m. Friday!  Incredible, but not shocking to me since I called for 6-9″ of snow.  I will say, however, that I didn’t expect it to linger into Friday.

More snow is expected beginning late Sunday night, with a better chance on Monday and Tuesday! While there’s plenty of time to fine tune the forecast with specific amounts, a few inches are possible.

Here are two forecast maps from NOAA for 6 a.m. Monday.  The first is the NAM model showing a quicker arrival and departure and the second is the GFS with a slower arrival, but the snow lasts longer.  Remember, it’s still three days out and will change.


I’ll mention more about the snow this weekend.  And, with the snow arriving Monday, you can watch my latest forecast beginning Monday beginning at 5 a.m., on CBS4 in the Quad Cities, as I make my debut on “CBS4 This Morning in High Definition”!


Winter Go AwayAnimals Heaven


As you may recall, Ray and I celebrated our fourth anniversary last Friday.  We had lunch at Exotic Thai, where we went on our first date and I had the same thing, pumpkin curry and Ray had his usual, black pepper chicken.

That evening, I made us a Banana Split Martini with banana vodka, double chocolate vodka, and a splash of donut vodka (just because we had it), with diet 7-up and a little cranberry for color.  Ray’s reaction: “It tastes like a banana split!”

Anniversary LunchBanana Split Martini


Diet Plan

While that might work, we’re going to do it the old-fashioned way.

Last March we decided that we were going to start exercising daily, watch what we ate, and lose weight for Ray’s 30th high school reunion in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in August and for the Madonna concert and my birthday in Las Vegas in October.

The first picture was from Dubuque in March and the second picture is from August.

RayAnthonyDBQMarch 2012August 2012 Anthony Ray

While it was an uphill battle, we won!  While you can’t see our tummies in the pictures, you can tell we lost the “baby fat” in our faces.  Ray successfully lost 30 pounds and I lost 25, which was about how much weight we had gained since we met each other in February 2009!

Well, many holiday meals and many buffets later (in Vegas, the Quad Cities, Kansas City, etc.. and on the cruise), I’ve gained about 15 pounds back and Ray has gained about 20.

So, with spring and summer approaching, we’re going to start eating and living healthy again.  I need to have Wise Guys pizza buffet and Osaka one more time!  I’m kidding because I’ll still treat myself regardless of what health regiment I’m following.


Here’s what I learned from the April 2011 “Men’s Fitness” magazine that I’m reading (yes, I’m a little behind):

*A study in “Obesity” states that “drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water 30 minutes before meals caused participants to drop 44% more weight in 12 weeks’ time than dieting alone”.  That helps you consume about 75 to 90 calories less per meal and it keeps you hydrated and increases metabolism.

*The average man in the U.S. has a body fat of  22% while American speedskater Apolo Ohno has a body fat of 2.8%!


*And, four pointers in choosing healthy snacks to lose weight:  The fewer the ingredients the better, avoid sugars (even honey, agave, or rice syrup), go low on sodium, and eat more protein and fiber.

*Finally, a Panera Bread pumpkin muffin has 580 calories compared to 540 in a McDonald’s Big Mac!


I posted this beautiful sunset picture on March 2, 2012.

March 2, 2012

And, that night, I was the emcee for a fundraiser for the Quad Cities Pride committee and you can see that Gretel had a blast!

Gretel QC Pride Fundraiser 3-2-12


Singer Jermaine Stewart was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1957 and his family moved to Chicago in 1972.  He became a regular dancer on “Soul Train”, which was filmed in Chicago.  He moved to Los Angeles with fellow Chicagoans Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel and just missed out on becoming the lead singer of Shalamar, a dance and R&B band.

Stewart met Mikey Craig of Culture Club and sang back-up on the demo for “Miss Me Blind” and he was signed to Arista Records.  His first single, “The Word Is Out” just missed the Billboard Top 40 in 1983, peaking at #41.

However, Stewart hit it big in 1986 when “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” reached #5 on the Hot 100.  The follow-up single about his friend, Jody Watley of Shalamar and “Looking For A New Love” fame, “Jody”, went as high as #42 on the Hot 100, but it reached the top twenty on the R & B chart.

Stewart would have one more top 40 hit in 1987 with “Say It Again” (#27).

He died at the age of 39 in 1997 of AIDS-related liver cancer.


So far, I have a pretty good track record on picking future hits.  This one is risky.

It’s from 23-year-old German-Russian electronic dance music producer Zedd, who’s talented and adorable.


While he’s young and has never had a radio hit in America, he’s remixed songs for Lady Gaga (“Born This Way” and “Marry The Night”) and he opened for Mother Monster on some dates of the “Born This Way Ball” Tour.


His debut album, “Clarity”, was released in the United States last October.  All three songs released from the album have made it into the Top Five on the Billboard Dance chart (#4 “Shave It”, #1 “Spectrum” featuring Matthew Koma”, and his recent #1, “Clarity”).

“Clarity”, featuring Foxes, is my pick hit of the week.  With EDM producers/musicians like Calvin Harris and David Guetta burning up the Top 40 charts with their hits, I hope radio gives “Clarity” a chance.

Are you listening Red Hot Brian Scott & Cody Tucker from B100 in the Quad Cities? 🙂


As expected, I did poorly at picking the winners for this year’s Oscars.  However, I did pick “Argo” to win Best Picture.  I also picked Daniel Day-Lewis to win Best Actor and Anne Hathaway to win Best Supporting Actress, but who didn’t pick those two?  Beyond that, I didn’t pick too many winners correctly!

I’ll be renting many movies in March and April.  “The Sessions”, “The Master”, “Skyfall”, “Life of Pi”, “Silver Linings Playbook”, “Amour”, and “Django Unchained” are all out or are expected on DVD in the next month or two.


Today is my last day of training at my new station.  I’m excited to get back on the air Monday.  Ray’s been in Washington D.C. the past couple of days and he gets home tonight.  So, I’m looking forward to our weekend before I have to get up at 1 a.m. Monday!!!  Have a great weekend!