Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Die, Junkie Parents, Die!

Okay, so the title here is a bit harsh. The sentiment maybe a little strongly stated. But the emotion behind it?

Dead sincere.

I'm watching my poor niece post again and again on her buttwipe junkie father's Facebook page. Sad, desperate missives declaring undying love and crying that she misses him so. Posts blaming his drunkenness on some girlfriend he may have had, tissue-worthy, rambling sprigs of Eminem lyrics.

His response?

Well, there hasn't BEEN one. Duh. He's in jail, and he has been for months. What's he in jail FOR, you ask?

Trying to sell meth to a cop. At Home Depot. Loser.

And this hapless, helpless moron isn't the worst parent my niece has. No, that prize goes to his scuzzbucket wife, who has dragged those poor kids through squalor and filth, exposed them to horrors I can only imagine. Exposed them to drugs, too. Frequently.

Enough that the children tested positive for exposure to multiple drugs. Damnable creature cooked meth in the same house where her children were sleeping, poisoned them with it. Cops found drugs splayed across the cheap coffee table in an apartment so toxic they wouldn't even allow family to fetch the children's belongings. Those belongings had to be dealt with by a Hazmat crew.

These kids are forever scarred. The younger two are stunted, both in stature and developmentally. But the worst of it? The worst is listening to them spout their parents' lies. Listening to them demonize landlords, social workers, police officers, and family members who have refused to facilitate their parents' addictions. Their parents--especially their mother--has ground into them a belief that all the world is to blame for their situation. Evicted for months of not paying rent and tearing places to bits? It's the landlord's fault, he's a "Bad Man." Family struggles to step in, to help the kids? We're "Bad" and "Trying to Steal Them." Cops and social workers try to intervene, to save these kids? They're "Asshole Cops" and "Bitch Social Workers."

These kids seemed dumbfounded when I explained that we don't get Foodstamps. That, in fact, most families don't. I don't think they quite believed me.

The very worst is seeing my niece beg those two scumsuckers to love her. Reading her posts and just wanting to scream, "Sweetie, you are BETTER than that, you deserve MORE than that, you are ABOVE these slugs!" But you know how kids are--if I tried to explain to her that she needs to value herself more highly, that she needs to stop admiring them and realize that they don't deserve her, she would shut down. She would be heartbroken. And yet, if she doesn't learn that, then she's going to go out into life believing that the sort of abusive, neglectful, utterly poisonous upbringing she received is what she deserves and should expect.

If you're a junkie, give your kids over to someone who cares, who loves them and isn't a loser, low-life nard. No, that doesn't mean shove them off to your welfare buddy so she can get more foodstamps and you can then freeload off her for as long as she'll tolerate you. It certainly doesn't mean ditch your kids with relatives for months on end while you keep cashing the welfare checks and selling your foodstamps to support your addictions. If you're a junkie? Just back away. Sign whatever needs to be signed, cooperate with those who can and will care for you kids, and move on. I'm not asking you to clean up--I don't care if you do or not. Go ahead, be a junkie, waste your life on crappy drugs, give blow jobs in alleys to pay for your heroin or meth. But get your kids the hell away from you so you can self-destruct without splattering them with your gore.

Just because you suck doesn't mean you have to suck them down with you. If you don't care enough to get your act together, then make a clean break and take your act somewhere away from your kids. It's their only hope.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


So I came across a post on Facebook today, and I just couldn’t help myself. The post read, “I lost 2 pounds in three days using HCG! It really works!” My response?

“I’ve lost over 150 pounds in 12 months, and I didn’t have to shell out for pills, go under the knife, break the bank on prepackaged meals or liquid diets, starvation plans, or any urine from any sort of pregnant creature. In fact, I didn’t have to buy anything at all. It’s called ‘diet and exercise,’ and it really works!”

No, I’m not a bitch. What I am is someone who is sick to death of having people approach me with, “What are you using? How are you doing that?” only to walk away shaking their heads in dejection when I tell them the truth. I am sick of hearing, “Oh, you’re just stronger than I am” or “I could never do that.” There IS NO MAGIC PILL, KIDDIES. There is no wand to be waved, no surgery to do it for you. There is work.

Now, it would be a lie if I said I had no “miracle” to aid me. I do. It’s called “keeping track of everything.” I use a free website called “My Fitness Pal.” There are others. The site also has an android and an Apple app, so I also run it on my phone, my iPad, and my Galaxy Tab. With this program, I keep track of every scrap of food that passes my lips and every bit of exercise I do. I plan out my meals, usually a day or so in advance. It’s a numbers game, and sometimes I don’t get to have that freshly grated parmesan and asiago with my pasta because I just don’t have the calories for it. Sometimes I decide to pop on the exercise bike or go walking in order to earn those calories. Sometimes I trade off and decide that I’ll skip the smoothie for dessert so I can have the sausage with dinner. It works, and it didn’t take long for me to figure out how to maximize those calories.

Maximize them? You bet—instead of a heaping pile of 2-3 servings of spaghetti, I have ONE two ounce serving plus julienned carrots and squash. Bulks up the serving size, gives me a nice serving of veggies, and makes that meal filling without being gluttonous. I used to have two pieces of butter and garlic-slathered bread with pasta. Now? I have a salad with spring mix, dark green leafies, zesty sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, and black olives, topped with a serving (carefully measured) of light dressing. If I want chicken strips, my husband breads the boneless, skinless breast strips with homemade breading and we bake them rather than fry. Same with fish. Cuts the calories in LESS than half, nukes the fat, and our son calls them “Epic.” Not bad for “health food.” Other favorites? Toasted ham and gruyere, toasted roast beef and fontina, rotisserie chicken with veggies, homemade 3 bean chili, grilled steaks with onions, mushrooms, and cheese, tuna roll-ups in lavash bread, homemade tyropita and sambusa, and good, old-fashioned hot dogs. And hot chocolate with melted peppermint and dark chocolate. Yummmmmy.

Now, I do have another inspiration, something that helps keep me in line. My diabetes. See, I ate myself into Type 2 diabetes. Yes, there’s a hell of a family history (mom, grandpa, uncle, sister, etc.), but fact is, it likely never would have appeared in me, had I not been morbidly obese. But watching that blood sugar and those carbs has made all the difference. I’m unmedicated, and in just a few months managed to pull my A1c down into normal range. Hey, I’m still heavy—I could lose another 75 pounds and still be called “fat.” Another hundred, and folks might refer to me as “the chubby one.” But that’s not my goal anymore—this isn’t about fitting into “skinny” jeans or hitting a particular size. No, this is about not ever needing to be on insulin. It’s about no taking medication for blood pressure. It’s about living to see as much of my son’s life as I possibly can. My “pretty” days are long over, and that’s fine—when did our society forget that people get old, and that old has a place, too? Who wants a silicone grandma with rock hard abs and plunging necklines?

Not me.

Am I “not diabetic” now? Of course not—if I eat a half a loaf of bread (or forget and pair stuffed clam shells with potatoes), my blood sugar shoots up into the 180s and 190s. That’s not cured. But it’s controlled. And before you think, “Oh, God, she never gets to have anything goooooood,” hush. Yes I do. Tonight, I’m having a cheeseburger (5 ounces of beef) on toasted oat bread (it’s not dry, it’s moist) with two slices of 2% cheese, ketchup, mustard, and dill chips, with a salad (see above), spinach, and slow-braised carrots with caramelized onions. Oh, and a strawberry-banana smoothie for after. My blood sugar will come in around 120, and all will be well with the world.

Don’t fall for the fads. Don’t buy into the gimmicks. And do NOT tell yourself that, short of a miracle, it’s “too late” for you to lose weight, that you’re “too fat” to get healthier. It’s not true—I could barely walk from car to apartment door, I could only do museums in wheelchairs and shopping in electric carts, and now I’m walking miles and spending hours on my feet. In just a year. So don’t—don’t look back a year from now and wonder sadly what you might have done. Do what I did—just DO it, then look back a year into it and say, “Wow, look what I did!” You can, you know. Promise.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Doctors, redux

So I had my appointment up in Rockville, Maryland. We weren't sure how long the drive would take, so we left early. TOO early. Wound up arriving an hour before my appointment. The Doctor? Agreed to see me an hour early. Boy, that's one way to score points with me. I like her--she's very personable, chatty, calm, and very, very liberal, politically-speaking. She did a great job of putting me at ease. My blood pressure was shockingly normal for a doctor's office visit--I usually "white coat" pretty severely. Maybe I'm just happier here, huh?

The only problem with my new doctor? She says she cannot feel the bump in question. She insists it's not there, it must have been a cyst that drained. Except that's not the case, because it is still there--the moment we got home, I had Tommy check. It's still there, same size, same spot. I have a follow-up appointment end of this month for a cystoscopy, and I'll ask her again then.

This means one of two things--either the thing that Tommy's feeling is supposed to be there and isn't the thing my old doc's office found OR my new doc is a dipshit. Obviously, I'm hoping for the former.

So I'm not sure what to feel here. Relief? Deeper concern because I didn't really get an answer and time is ticking on by?


I'm still losing weight, though the pace has slowed. I ONLY weigh 60 lbs more than my husband. I know, most women would be horrified, but not me--see, I've ALWAYS weighed more than my husband, even when we first met and I was in size 7 jeans. But I used to weigh a good 200+ lbs more, so only 60? That's positively slim!

We walked the Occoquan Bay Wildlife Refuge on New Year's day--it's so amazing, being able to put in 4 miles or so without feeling like I'm dying. Oh, hell, who am I kidding? Last year this time, walking to the CAR from the APARTMENT left me winded and in agony. Like I keep saying, I'm not going to ever do that looking back over a year and wondering where I might have been, had I only started a year ago. This time, I'm going to look back and see 180 lbs GONE. I'm going to KNOW what I could have done because, gawdammit, I DID it.

You can, too. Get on it.