I got 99 problems, but a bikini wax ain’t one.

Let’s face it.  Big girls have got some problems.  I have a long list of reasons to lose weight poetically titled “100 reasons to lose 100 pounds”, and they are all real issues that make being overweight hard to deal with at times.  Things like not being able to wear high heels, enjoy the beach, or paint my own toenails without pulling a ligament.  But I got to thinking about some of the things that big girls don’t have to worry about, and thought we should take a few moments to bask in the joy of these small but significant triumphs.

I got 99 problems…but I don’t have to worry about being cold. 

While my skinny friends are wearing 6 sweaters, 3 coats and sitting on a heater, I have my own in-built blanket of warmth. No wind-chill in my bones; I am always warm.  Except for my feet – I can’t reach those to put my socks on.

I got 99 problems…. But my friends don’t borrow my clothes.

I can’t remember the last time someone borrowed my favorite jacket.  As a big girl my clothes are always where I left them, and not being admired on someone else.  Of course, I can’t borrow anything of theirs either, but let’s stay focused on the positive here… My clothes are mine all mine!

I got 99 problems…. But I don’t worry about getting stretch marks during pregnancy. 

Already got ‘em!

I got 99 problems…but it’s hard to get drunk.

If fat absorbs alcohol I am Spongebob.  If food counteracts the effects of alcohol, I can definitely take another round.  I am no ‘drinker’ by any means, but I’m always amazed by how little alcohol it takes for some girls to be sharing their secret love for Mr. So and So, and yelling ‘woooo’ while dancing by themselves. Upon further investigation it turns out they ate only three crackers for dinner, having decided to save their calories for vodka.   Please! Eat some bread, girl, and give your bloodstream a chance. At the next weigh in, I may regret eating that bagel with mashed potato, but I will NOT be making a fool of myself after sniffing the wine.

I got 99 problems… but I don’t have to worry about an all-over tan.

Let’s be honest here…while some people think fat looks better brown, I think a big girl getting an all over tan is like drinking diet soda with your stuffed crust pizza; it’s too little too late, and completely unnecessary!   I hate to admit it but Honey boo-boo’s mom got this one right; your arms, lower legs and chest are all that needs to be brown.  It’s not like anyone is seeing the rest of it anyway, and anyone who is, already loves it.

I got 99 problems….but I never forget to eat.

I’m not sure this is actually a real problem, but it seems to be real for skinny girls who can often be found passed out by the water fountain at 3pm saying “gosh, I forgot to eat today, no wonder I have the shakes and literally hate everybody, I must immediately eat a raisin.”  Serious stuff.  I may not be able to see my toes, but you can be sure I keep my metabolism revved.  by some voodoo trickery of my brain I often forget I ate earlier, ate junk, and ate too much,  but I never forget to eat.

Despite the 99 problems that come with the 99 extra pounds there are some great perks to being a big girl.  Sometimes I can even pass for a pregnant lady and get the good parking spot.  Of course I can never shop there again, but it is helpful on a rainy day, and I was pregnant once upon a time, so what’s the issue here really?

At the end of the day, no matter what’s happening in your life, what shape you are, or what problems you are facing, there is always something to be grateful for.

I got 99 problems but these ain’t one.


You may have convinced me that exercise is important, and its possible I could accept that carb’s are not God’s gift to dieters, and on a really good day I’ll support salad as a side dish, but there is no way ever you could make me believe that Lycra is a good idea.

You would think it would be important while exercising to cover our less flattering features, rather than enhancing them with shiny fabric in ‘look at me’ colors and styles that don’t cover your cellulite, but rather hug neatly to every dimple and bulge.  I mean call me crazy, but does anyone else find this whole ‘wear comfortable clothes for exercising’ thing disturbing?  I haven’t worn anything comfortable since I leapt off the rack into the plus-size section.

It’s like wearing black because it’s ‘slimming’.  Hullo!  There is no such thing as a slimming outfit when you weigh 200 pounds.  Forget Lycra – I am most comfortable in my sweats – and that’s what I’m wearing – as soon as I start exercising of course.

Theories on exercise are numerous and varied, and there seems to be as many professional opinions as there are infomercials for systems to tone, trim, train, tighten, taunt, tease and torture yourself.  I myself, am marching bravely towards the worlds largest collection of diet and health books (second only to my collection of recipe books), and had to build an extra garage for all the exercise equipment I bought while eating peanut butter toast and raspberry twists in front of the T.V.

Like many desperate housewives, it was common for me to hit the pavement safely smug in the knowledge that walking is the best form of exercise.  (ha!  Who ever dreamed up this one is my HERO!)   As a bonus I can deliver a self-righteous lecture to hubby and kids while I huff and puff my way through tying these flippin laces. (excuse me while I CATCH….oww chest pains…MY…..what the heck is wrong with flipflops anyway?…..BREATHE…whew…mental note to buy slip ons)  And as any fatty with a brain knows, it can all be accomplished without breaking a sweat on a convenient walk past the store with enough time on the way back to scoff an entire packet of fat free, chocolate covered, low carb, double dipped, unsalted, organic grown honey roasted peanuts.  They’re healthy after all.  The packet says so!

When the novelty of showing off my latest exercise outfit to the neighbors wore off (day 2), I would move to exercising indoors, and fortunately owned a whole library of videos, dvd’s, inspirational books, and a plethora of dusty equipment that will do just the job.  (I guess I could go buy a real clothes rack if I have to.)

As soon as I can find a patch for that oversized ball, and a leotard that will fit both butt cheeks I’ll be exercising like you wouldn’t believe.  Do I need say more?  Of course I never did it.  Who wants to bounce around their living room (okay so I generously use with poetic license the word ‘bounce’)  terrorizing small children, and worrying that Pastor So-and-So might pop by for a visit?  No thanks, not me.

So what other options are there?  TaiBo?  TaiChi?  Fat camp?  Swimming?   Bahahaha! LMBO (if only laughing your butt off was actually possible)  Swimming?!   That is a good one!  (loud guffaw followed by choking as overactive imagination conjures the image of me in the swimsuit I don’t own, cos girlfriend – I don’t do swimsuits!)

I know there are whole clubs dedicated to this, the pursuit of physical health, but maybe you have forgotten the wall to wall, floor to ceiling, dimple to pimple MIRRORS in there!  Mirrors for Africa.  Mirrors that make sure every person in the building can see you from every angle. Mirrors so carefully avoided at home, in fitting rooms, on car visors, and in compacts, now mocking in their unrelenting reflection of the sum of all my sins – yes – THOSE mirrors!

The problem is, my ‘don’t-stand-if-you-can-sit-eat-often-use-treadmill-as-laundry-sorting-area’ plan is not working.  So in a moment of possible insanity, and with a very dark pair of glasses, I ventured one day through the front door of Hades, and managed to join the gym without looking anyone in the eye.

I learnt how without muscle to give my body shape and form, I could easily end up being the lady in church with upper arms that can praise the Lord all by themselves.  I also learnt that Lycra went out with the old millennium and there’s not a shiny crop top in sight.

If it wasn’t in the Bible, I could probably talk myself, and a whole army of sweat-drenched, mirror dazed, stair climbing, cardio freaks out of the need for exercise, but He said it was a good idea, so it must be true.

I’ll never love the sweating, the outfits, or the mirrors, but I’ll take the chance to see once and for all, if my butt looks big in these pants!


Lately I have been waking up early. I’m not sure why, or how to make it stop but it is definitely a new thing for me.  I should probably clarify that ‘early’ to me is anything before 8am.  I am clearly what you would call a ‘Night Owl.    I do my best work late at night, I get my second wind at about 11pm, and I do NOT like to get out of bed before 9am.   I’m a firm believer in ‘glide’ time and have trained my children to get themselves out of bed, get breakfast, and get out the door to school – all while I sleep.   I’m not necessarily proud of my part in this scenario, but I am proud of their independence.   That’s never a bad thing is it?

Due to the hours I keep, I don’t often interact with Early Birds, but I believe them to be a sort of mythical creature, who rises early to have tea and toast with unicorns and fairies.  I imagine they swan through the house at 6am, whistling, and throwing open windows to sing morning melodies to the birds and the trees.  They smile even when it is cold, and before others have begun to stir they have done 12 loads of washing, mopped the floor, made dinner for the week, sewed a dress, run 5 miles, milked the cow, and painted the spare room.   They have super powers that allow them to think clearly and be cheerful in the mornings, and other strange abilities that must have something to do with going to bed at 9.00pm.

I could no sooner go to bed at 9pm than I could be a supermodel.  9.00pm for me is when things are just getting started.  Finally all the formalities of the day are done, and now I can let my mind loose on the things I have been ignoring all day; like what I want to be when I grow up, and what I will wear when I can afford to go on a cruise, and how many calories I would have to eat to make my stomach explode.

These things take time to figure out and should not be attempted before 9pm.  Before 9pm you still have kids doing homework, needing signatures, and announcing they need black pants, shoes, socks, a bowtie, 3 balloons and a plate of homemade cookies for a concert tomorrow.  (Walmart is definitely run by a night owl who understands these needs.)  At 9pm you’re still digesting dinner, and paying bills.  You still have to watch your favorite shows and get a workout in.  9pm is clearly not the end of the day; it is merely intermission.  9pm is time to get the popcorn, grab a blanket and settle in for the second half.  It is NOT TIME TO GO TO BED.  Seriously. 

The Night Owl on the other hand shines in the dark, like a human glow-stick.  While others settle in to sleep they are creating masterpieces, connecting with friends around the world, writing bestsellers, watching an entire season of Walking Dead, and getting in a last chance workout.   Night Owls understand the power of the ‘second wind’, and know to caffeine-load earlier in the day with quad shot white mocha’s to achieve everything before they finally drop at 2am.   Night owls would never plan a meeting – or really any activity that requires intelligent thought – before 10am.   

I know the world needs both, and each have their own brilliance, but I say each should stick to their own kind.  If an early bird and a night owl should ever collide they may just create some freaky “All-day Albatross” or something, and none of us are ready to deal with that.


Did you know that gym memberships surge in January then die back to normal in May?  It’s true.  You get a bit panicked after the roast dinner and dessert frenzy of December 25th and before you know it you’ve gone and brought some lycra, the matching shoes, sweatband, towel and bag, and booked a personal trainer for some torture at the gym.  After 3 weeks, some thigh chafing, a sore butt, and 6 pounds of protein powder you realize working out at home is a much better idea, and add another machine to your growing collection.   During a particularly arduous session on said machine you realize an amazing thing.  Exercise makes you pray.  True statement.  check out this session of mine, when I get 40 minutes into a 60 minute workout and can no longer figure out why sweaty eyelids are a good thing…

“God! (I wheeze desperately) God!, show me your mercy!  Take this fat from me, take it God.  I bind this fat and send it into the sea!  Oh merciful God!  Please take this roll from my waist as I sleep tonight – I promise I’ll never eat another pie, and if I do please give me leprosy.  God lift this burden whose yolk is heavy! In Jesus name I pray.  Oh and thank you that I have legs to exercise on.  Amen”

40 minutes into a 60 minute cardio session you’re not just talking to God, you also start talking to yourself… “40 minutes down, 20 minutes to go, 40 minutes of pain, 20 minutes more, two-thirds done, one-third left, I’ve done 40, most only do 20, 40 is good, 60 is stupid.  God loves 40, 40 days and nights of rain, 40 day fasts, 40 years in the wilderness.

“God!  I know you believe in the power of 40.  You understand that 40 is all it takes to change a situation.  I feel you leading me to only do 40 minutes of cardio today and the next and probably Wednesday as well as I have a sore ankle and don’t want to miss this weeks episode of Biggest Loser.  God you are so wise and compassionate, thank you that you lead me and teach me your ways”

(43 minutes)
At this point the sweat runs into your eye and your thighs have become cellulite bricks.  Your life flashes before your eyes and there is a disconcerting amount of french-fries featured.  Co-starring is the chocolate brownie that contains exactly 200 calories a piece and had its way with you during the great sugar crash of 3.20pm

“God! Thank you for sending me a vision in my time of need.  I see clearly the decision I need to make.  I must call Mom and counsel her not to make any more brownies, there are other ways she can love me.  Also, I’m not sure if I can go on much longer, so please take care of my babies and help my husband find a new wife; preferably less attractive than me.  Amen.

(48 minutes)
Will this nightmare NEVER END!?  It’s as if time has stopped, the seconds are like minutes, all logic and reasoning has left you.  It’s hard to even conjure up the motivation picture that usually works… you, a bikini, a cruise ship, and not a roll of fat in sight.  I mean bikini’s are sooo 90’s, and too much exposure to the skin is very ageing, and who on earth would want to go on a cruise anyway – hello people – remember the Titanic?!

“Oh God!  Take me! just take me now.  If this is life, then who needs it? I beseech you God – hear my cry! Release me from this bondage of exercise and sweat.  I know you want me to have blessing and abundance, but 1000 calories a day is not abundance, and my chafing thighs are not a blessing.  Take me to Heaven where I can have my new body- I’m sure there’s a song that talks about ‘no more dieting there’ and  I’m ready God, I’m ready!

(51 minutes)
Must keep going, can’t stop now.  Need to burn 400 calories (who could ever stop at one piece of brownie?) and get sweat marks on your t-shirt to prove you worked hard on this ridiculous machine.  Who ever invented such a thing is a sick, sick man who obviously never carried an extra pound.

“God!  Please forgive the man who made this machine, and help him see the error of his ways.  I know you love him like you love me, but it must be MUCH harder.  Soften his heart God and his belly too, so he has opportunity to experience the torture of this machine in person.  Thank you that you are righteous and just.  Oh and please block my nose today when I drive past KFC, you know I have a reaction to the smell which causes me to drive through and order stuff.  Amen.

(55 minutes)
Only 5 minutes to go…on the home stretch now… I am strong, mentally and physically strong; I am a champion; others would have stopped at 40 but not me– no way!   Nothing can stop me now.  Bikini – here I come, cruise ship – all aboard!    I always say ‘God helps those who help themselves’, so maybe you can help me stop helping myself to the brownies!   Amen.



6.00am ALARM GOES OFF … I wake to find breathing difficult. So this is it I muse, its happening already, I’ve crossed over, I’m so old now that my lungs are failing, and its only a matter of time before I’m a wrinkled moustached mess of ‘back in the day’ memories, and elasticated pants. Oh… hang on; it could also be crushing weight of husbands arm flung across my chest at some point, and now cutting off air supply. Yes, that’s it, I breathe a deep sigh of temporary relief and make a note to self… stop feeding husband before he kills me.

It’s my 30th birthday and quite frankly I’m not the slightest bit happy ABOUT IT! Getting old is not on my list of things to do before I die, and the prospect of being closer to 40 than 20 is just simply disturbing. In my ideal world you could stay whatever age you like for as long as you want. For example; I think 28 is a perfect age. At 28 you have some life experience under your belt, while still being youthful and energetic. At 28 you don’t have wrinkles, facial hair or saggy boobs, but you do have curvy mothers’ hips and a few stretch marks to signpost your biggest achievements in life. At 28, grey hair is a distant concern and pimples are a thing of the past. If it wasn’t for the fact that my husband is nearly 40 and it would soon look a bit creepy I would stay 28 for another 10 years or so.

As a feeble and yes pathetic attempt to stave off the inevitable I have forbidden the family from using the ‘Th’ word and they must only refer to my age as being ‘twenty-ten’. Next year I will be ‘twenty-eleven’ and so on and so forth until such time as I reach ‘twenty-twenty’ at which point I will surely have grown up enough to accept the aging process and be able to start living honestly as a ‘thirty-something’.

Lately people are saying the 50 is the new 40, and 40 is when life begins, but what the heck is 30? It’s not the new anything, it’s not the beginning of anything, its not even half way to anything. It’s just ‘twenty-ten’. It’s too early for a midlife crisis (although I’m fairly certain I could conjure up a good one if it was allowed) and too late for casual relationships. You’re not old enough to quit your job and tour the country in a motor home, but too old to quit your job and leave the country and backpack round Europe.

Turning 30 is like getting a paper cut – it hurts like heck but there’s nothing to see, and no one will give you ANY FLIPPIN SYMPATHY! No, there’s only one way to make this better and I’m not talking about a stupid bunch of red roses either! (What am I… 20?!) I’m thinking a new outlook, a new attitude, a new me… yes! I’m thinking surgery!

Now don’t get me wrong, you won’t be seeing me on Oprah looking like Barbie’s druggie sister. I’m not looking for total facial reconstruction here, just a little tweaking, a little encouragement, a little prod in the right direction, if you will. Perhaps some liposuction on the waist and these upper arms which are now able to wave at people all by themselves, and there is definitely some help required in the boob department! I mean lets face it, now that they aren’t supplying milk, their whole job in life is to look good in clothes, fill out my bra’s, and keep my husbands attention when necessary. Without the ability to do this what is the point of them? They are missing their full purpose in life, their highest calling! (This is now not so high and not so full either). If it weren’t for these new bras with supernatural powers to perform miracles I could quite easily have given up all hope and featured in National Geographic. No, surgery is definitely the way to manage this milestone.

The thing is, where do I begin, and where does it stop for that matter. Am I teetering on the edge of a downward spiral of self improvement (or should I say self-dissatisfaction?) Am I headed for a never ending course of botox, botch-ups and liposucked legs? Or can I discreetly tweak, cut, slice, fill and empty things without anyone noticing? Not flippin likely!

I’d have to leave the country to get it done. You can’t really be picking up the kids with bandages from head to toe expecting people to believe you had a skateboard accident now can you! And while I’m not sure if it’s a help or hindrance, the truth is that hubby loves me this or that way and every way in between. Snipping and tucking is not going to change his love and acceptance and it goes without saying that the kids don’t care at all. So what is the really all about?

Is it truly about putting my best foot/face/upper arm/boob forward? Or is it about turning back a clock that’s supposed to keep going forward? Is it an honest attempt to ‘not let myself go’ or is it a vain grasp at eternal youth? Is it easily justified, or unjustifiably easy? Should I, shouldn’t I? Would I, wouldn’t I? Now I have another wrinkle to worry about!

The problem is that lurking within, are full colour memories of self righteous lectures to teenage girls about loving who you are, accepting what you have and leaving well enough alone. “If the Good Lord gave it; all I can do is shave it” and other poetically ridiculous sayings ring loud in my thoughts. My how quickly the tune has changed. Forget the tune; it’s a whole new song! While easy to love what you have when its plump, perky and perfect, it takes a well fed and robust self esteem to love, accept, and leave what is now saggy, stretched & second hand.

But here’s the problem…If you take a knife and change yourself, you lose your true individuality. The space in the world once shaped perfectly to fit you, is now crammed with J-Lo’s butt, Elle’s legs, and Dolly’s boobs. Somewhere under there the real you exists, but it’s much harder to express yourself with Angelina’s lips.

No, I can’t do it. Who I would rather be? A cheap, (well actually 2nd-mortgage- expensive) copy of someone else? Or a one-of–a-kind specially designed ME?

I guess I’ll take the roses instead.


Everyone has a basic value that determines how they react and behave.  It’s at the core of every decision they make, and is hopefully the quality they will be remembered for.  Here is mine:  Don’t eat lettuce for breakfast.Image

Truly, I don’t care what country you live in, what religion you are, or how strict your diet is, you do not eat lettuce for breakfast!  It’s just wrong on so many levels.  It offers nothing of value to the meal, it has no flavor, no nutrients, and no color.  I mean what is the point of eating the stuff?

And why is it that whenever you’re on a diet you have to eat lettuce at every meal, till you’d rather run into the wall screaming.  When did lettuce become the icon of healthy eating?  Who decided it was the magic food around which all diets should revolve?  Why is it we have to torture ourselves with this poor excuse for a vegetable and what is so flippin great about it?  It’s not like it is so delicious and satisfying that you don’t feel the need to eat anything else, is it?

“Fill up on salad” is probably the biggest diet myth heard today.  Whoever wrote that (and I bet it wasn’t Shakespeare) is laughing all the way to the bank.  There is nothing filling about a few pieces of insipid green, water filled, fiber strands.  In fact there’s hardly even any fiber or carbs in it, so what the heck am I actually eating?   It tastes like a bitter grass, and goes slimy the instant it touches anything hot.

The reality is, we use lettuce to hide the fact we’re eating nothing.  Too familiar a sight is the overweight dieter at a social gathering with loaded plate of lettuce adamant they are ‘stuffed’, saying “yes I tried the beef”, while frantically looking under the lawn clippings on their plate for the sliver of protein allowed on the latest diet craze to attack their common sense.  For at least saving us from having to tell “Miss None-of-your-business” that we are trying again to lose weight, I give lettuce it’s due.

Self trickery is another common use for lettuce of course, whereby the plate loaded with salad is supposed to make us think we’re eating a lot while our rumbling tummy protests otherwise.  Give us some credit!  Today’s consumer is smart enough to realize that not only will eating a whole paddock of lettuce make them choke and gag, it will NOT under any circumstance make them feel full.  It will only make them hate lettuce even more!

Surely it’s better to have nothing on the side than to stuff salad down your throat like a participant in some kind of hideous Fear Factor challenge. In fact, having to eat a whole lettuce would be enough to make me walk away from the prize.  It’s just not worth it.  Everyone has a limit and that’s mine.  Live cockroaches? – sure, boiled pig rectum? – no worries, Moldy fish milkshake? –  Make mine a double!  But eating a whole lettuce – forget it!  There are some things I just won’t do.

Maybe I’m being a little harsh, probably even fanatical, but no fancy recipe or special dressing is going to change my mind.   I don’t eat lettuce for breakfast.

This calls for Bacon.

My Facebook status on day five reads: “This calls for bacon”.  Bacon?  Why yes, because all doctors recommend bacon for what ails you.  Come to think of it; what doesn’t call for bacon?  Actually my emotional state was such that it called for bacon, a fried egg, toast and chocolate milk.  I hope it works because that’s a 600-calorie fix!  (makes mental note to go back on Celexa for Pete’s sake – No calories in that.)

I did text my husband first: “going to eat bacon because bacon fixes everything”.  He replied  “ok sounds good babe” Bless his heart.  Clearly we are not cut out to provide dietary accountability for each other.  Apart from that we’re great!

I know what you would say if I had texted you: “Food is not your friend” “Bacon won’t fix anything”  “You will be even more depressed later” “Don’t eat your problems” etc, etc, and I would say the same.  The thing is – I actually feel better!  It’s like therapy.  Don’t roll your eyes at me…Some people have a therapy dog, I have therapy bacon.  It’s a thing!

Joking aside, I know I’ve blown my calories, and self-medicated with food.  I know I’m trying to drown my feelings in greasy, salty, crunchy goodness.  And guess what – I did.   For now.

I know my problems are still there; I still don’t have enough money, my kids are still fighting, I’m still fat, I’ll still be depressed tomorrow, and now I won’t be losing weight this week either.  I’m also out of bacon.

You know what this calls for…