Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year's Obsessions

New Years' Resolutions. Every year, mine's the same:

Drink More Water.

I don't think I get in my 48 oz. a day. I've don't really monitor it, but I'm sure I can do better.

That's it, drink the water. But, also, as I am every year at this time, I am ready to restore a little order in my life. It is time to hunker down and behave myself: put the credit cards in the freezer, pitch the sugarplums, and buy some carrots, take a walk.

I *am* feeling a bit like the Michelin man after all of the holiday gluttony, and it's not doing a lot for my outlook. It's time to get back on track, nutrionally and physically, and I intend to make as little fanfare about it as possible. I know the routine: chicken, fish & vegetables.

And hit the streets. I read an article in which a doctor stated that she constantly hears women saying, "I've been thinking about walking." Her response: "What's to think about?! Put on your shoes and walk!" Well, all right!

Promises for no fanfare aside, I still have to share this with you. I was browsing through the January Readers' Digest the other day, and came across an article, entitled 50 Habits of Naturally Thin People. "You just adopt some tricks naturally lean people do," the blurb reads.

There are a few common-sense tips that are in every GetFit article, such as switch from regular soda to diet soda, (duh) watch your serving sizes...blah blah blah. However, there was a heck of a lot of mindless drivel in the article, and since I've done wasted my brain cells on it, I insist you do too.

Check these out:
  • While you brush your teeth, alternate standing on one leg as you switch mouth quadrants (every 30 seconds).

Thin people! Do you really brush your teeth standing on one leg, or is that a tip only for flamingos brushing their teeth? Have you ever even THOUGHT about your mouth being sectioned off in quadrants?

  • Anytime you're waiting in line, stand evenly on both feet, clasp hands behind your back and squeeze shoulder blades together to open your chest, an energizing yoga-based move that stimulates the nervous system.

I have a big fat picture of the eye-rolling I'd do if some chickadee sets her milk down in the grocery store and starts doing yoga in front of me. Really, tell me you wouldn't find her a little obsessive.

This one just kills me:

  • When you're grocery shopping or running errands, wear a backpack with a 5- or 10-pound bag of sugar inside to increase resistance and burn more calories.

Imagine it. Run to the post office, get out of the car, strap on your sugar-pack, get some stamps, take OFF the sugar pack, drive to Walgreens, get out of the car, strap on your sugar-pack, pick up toothpaste. And why are the bees so thick this time of year, and how did I get ants in my car?

  • Tone in traffic! ... Squeeze your derriere each time you tap the brake, holding for 10 seconds. Shoot for 10 to 15 squeezes a trip.

So much for mindfulness awareness while driving. Answer the phone, adjust the radio, brake, squuh-heeeeze those cheeks together, hit that 10-second timer, keep track of the repetitions, WATCH OUT FOR THAT Aurghhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Why don't we just let Toonces drive? I say skip the derriere driving, and do a kegel every time you Ctrl+S.

We use e-mail so much we've forgotten what our co-workers look like. Pick a colleague or two who sits farthest from you and deliver 10 of those daily messages in person.

If the person that sits farthest away from me at work ever get wind of this great idea, I will personally seek out the author of this article and kick her in the shins.

[Instead of chocolate, eat] reduced-calorie Jell-O chocolate pudding.... Eat it with a baby spoon to savor it longer.

And here I've been using a shovel.

  • Shop till the pounds drop! At the mall, try on at least ten outfits, both pants and shirts. No need to buy!

Seriously, was she stoned when she wrote this article?

Was it lost on the author that anyone that that eats with baby utensils, runs a lap around the house for every piece of junk mail received, carries a 10-lb bag of sugar on their back, or joins the church choir just to burn 70 calories on a Sunday morning in order to stay thin is NOT "naturally" thin, but a bit on the obsessive-compulsive side? Is it not a bit irresponsible to insinuate, if even just with the title of the article. that thin people just DO these things?

OR. Or, or, OR, am I missing the boat, and you naturally thin people really DO incorporate these habits into your life?!

Are you shaking your heads and whispering "Well. I didn't want to be the one to bring it up, but it's no WONDER she's 20 pounds overweight, she's not even carrying sugar! Have you seen her brush her teeth? Two feet! She stands on BOTH feet when she brushes her teeth! You can't feel sorry for her, if she's not going to brake & squeeze. There's nothing you can do, it has to be her decision."

Well. Pass the carrots, I'm over it.

*Get a Clue art by Hugh MacLeod,

(Thanks Andy)


  1. hoot! you crack me up! what a great commentary.

    something I dislike about those 50 tips is the automatic assumption made by the author that you're eating "a prelunch brownie" or that, by eating 2 or 3 apples or pears a day, you'll eat 2 fewer giant cookies. And eat just the inside of the egg roll, skipping the shell? Defeats the purpose, in my opinion. What a mess!

    Oh, and my favorite:

    Make whoopee: Instead of a bowl of ice cream as a bedtime snack, have a robust tussle with your spouse

    comparing ice cream to sex? So that's why Americans are overweight!

  2. Sounds like you're off to a good start. Happy New Year

  3. I loved reading this entry:) Naturally thin people have other issues to reckon with. Aging badly is top of the list. Osteoporosis and dying from a fractured hip comes a close second. So three cheers to the women out there with a womanly figure.

  4. By the way, the Get A Clue guy is by Hugh Macleod. His site is awesome. Check out the cartoon archive. The guy's a genius. Leave him a comment and tell him AndyT13 sentcha!

  5. Andy, I'm so glad you gave credit where credit is due, and embarrassed that I didn't pursue that information myself.

    I will definitely give him a shout, and give you credit.

  6. Whew!! I love this blog!! It's hilarious. I agree - these people must have too much time on their hands OR, or, or, OR (loved that part!) OCD.

    With all that time and energy we could be at the friggin' gym.

  7. I tried standing on one foot while brushing each "quadrant" of my mouth last night...who brushes their teeth for 2 full minutes?

  8. LOL!

    Skinny people are colder, too. I just had this conversation with a friend of mine who says that is the one benefit of gaining 20 lbs - she's much warmer!

  9. Weird. I used to do those things when I was a thin person. I thought everybody did them. Huh...

  10. I'm a naturally thin person (no hate mail please - we all have our crosses to bear) and I can say without fear of contradiction: that woman is out of her mind. I don't do any of that stuff (except the toothbrush thing, but that's because I'm impatient and get bored easily) and I'm still not any fatter. She's forgotten the key point here is 'naturally' thin - no work required.

    Have another biscuit, I say, and toss that book on the fire.

  11. HA! I tried that standing on one foot too, just for kicks. I got on the scale after and—nothing.

    Wendy: Yeah, that's the ticket; I'm just trying to stay warm; it's a survival instinct!

    Larry: WHEN you were thin? You're looking none too pudgy in any of the pictures I've ever seen of you. You must be unconsciuosly incorporating some of these tips. What's your egg-roll eating technique?

    Sven: I'm sorry, but I'll have to block you and your skinny butt now. Your comment about getting bored while brushing cracked me up. I do read while I dry my hair, but I haven't noticed my pants getting any looser as a result.

  12. Happy New Year! Love your blog!

    That article (as funny as it is) is the stupidest thing I've heard! As people have pointed out, naturally thin people don't have to do anything to be thin. I'm surprised it was featured in Readers Digest.

    I've always been thin, and my problem is trying to gain weight! I eat more than most of my friends. If they ate like I ate they'd balloon, whereas nothing much happens to me.

    Naturally thin people probably eat more and exercise less, so following their 'habits' is not such a good idea!

  13. Eat more. Exercise Less. I like it. Thanks for the advice, Mark. It's my new, revised, 2006 resolution.

  14. Hey! Great entry! I'm probably the fattest friend you have, and at least now I know why.


    Oh, and the gapingvoid linky no worky.

  15. Tracy: You are not, but I don't keep track.

    Thanks for tipping me off about the link; it's fixed now!


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