The only marathons I have been a part of involve 12 episodes of Law & Order aired back to back and the loss of sensation in my buttocks. Another type of marathon is being covered tonight on PBS and it doesn’t involve a dozen hours of Sam Waterston. Tonight’s episode of NOVA is called the Marathon Challenge and follows 13 novice runners as they train to run the Boston marathon. I’m really looking forward to watching this because…I signed up to run a half marathon! Woo-hoo! Me and the Indianapolis 500 Mini-Marathon on May 3, 2008, baby! I’ve lost half my weight, I wrote a book called Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir and now I’m going to run a half-marathon. I hope to learn a lot from this show and I hope no one gets horribly injured or collapses in a pool of vomit because that registration fee is non-refundable. Check your listings for time and station.
Filed Under: television
My hostel friend Adrienne, who writes Baby Toolkit, has tagged me with a meme. That’s my “hostel” friend, meaning I met her at the youth hostel during the BlogHer conference, not my “hostile” friend. I don’t think I could be friends with a hostile person whether I met them at a hostel or not. Here’s the rules:
1) Post these rules before you give your facts
2) List 8 random facts about yourself
3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them
4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged
I’ve spilled my guts on this blog so much I sometimes feel like I need my own biohazard waste bin to clean it all up. But here are eight health and weight-loss related things about me that you probably did not already know.
1) I don’t care if artificial sweeteners kill me, I’m eating them anyway
I know some people don’t like to use aspartame, sucralose, saccharin or any of those sweet, sweet, chemicals that end in –ol (sorbitol, xylitol, malitol, etc.) because they are concerned about having three-headed babies or growing a sixth finger. I don’t care. I will be the guinea pig who drinks diet soda every day for 30 years so we can determine if all those modified molecules actually cause cancer. You’ve got to die of something. If it’s going to be death by artificial sweetener, so be it.
2) I watched TV constantly as a child, but now, not so much
I was a complete TV addict as a kid and through high school. In 4th grade we had to track our watching habits and I think I watched at least 30 hours a week, more than almost anyone else. I honestly didn’t think I could live without cable, but once money got tight in college and the credit card debt started piling up, I canceled my Comcast subscription and surprisingly I did not miss it that much. I still love TV. The best stuff on TV is better than it has ever been before. I carefully select the shows I watch, just like I am picky about what I eat. Of course, we also didn’t have the Internet back then, so maybe I’m just spending time reading blogs now that I would have previously spent watching The CW.
3) I was thrilled the day I learned I could order pizza online
I used to have severe phone anxiety. For several years in middle school I didn’t answer the phone at all. I hated a required journalism class in college because I had to call up strangers and ask them questions. I would get nervous and fret and stare at the phone for at least 20 minutes before getting up the nerve to make the call. Even now, I still prefer to e-mail strangers, but I can answer the phone and can call people without throwing up first. I always hated ordering pizza though because I was scared to call the pizza place and go through the ordering process. (Yes, I know this is bizarre and weird, but as I said yesterday we all have our own personal weirdness going on.) In college I was searching the Papa John’s website for the phone number of the closest store and discovered I could bypass the stressful “talking to strangers” process completely by ordering online, thus making it easier to eat an entire box of cheese sticks than ever before. It was awesome.
4) I licked the frosting off the cake
I wrote an entry last year about an episode of Desperate Housewives where a fat girl at a birthday party was accused of licking the frosting off of a birthday cake, even though a thin person had done it. I bemoaned how horrible it was that stereotypes like these persisted, that the fat people of the world were not necessarily out to lick the frosting off of your birthday cakes. Except, I totally did that. I don’t remember whose cake it was, either my own birthday cake or a cake at some family function, but I remember I once stuck my finger into the gooey puffs where the frosting met the cardboard bottom of the box and licked that buttercreamy goodness up. It was awesome.
5) I am not a weight-loss role model 100% of the time
The same week I so effortlessly avoided eating the apple pie at work I also went home and ate two bowls of oatmeal and a batch of sweet potato muffins. As I was pouring the water into that second bowl of cinnamon and sugar and dried oats, I thought to myself, “This is not behavior becoming of a weight-loss success story.” And I stuck it in the microwave anyway and it was really good. I knew what I was doing and I did it anyway. I don’t always mention this stuff because this isn’t a food diary and I don’t feel a need for “forgiveness” or “confession” that much anymore when I overeat. I ate too much. I shouldn’t have done that. Oh, well. I’ll try not to do that tomorrow. But I’m not perfect, people, and it feels a bit odd when people congratulate me for having such control over my eating these days when it’s only true maybe 95% of the time.
6) I don’t think Spanx are all that uncomfortable
Spanx are a body-contouring undergarment that help smooth out your body and make you look thinner. I always hear about how uncomfortable they are, like a modern-day corset, but when I wore a pair I felt fine. Maybe I needed a smaller size to completely cut off my circulation and turn my thighs blue?
7) I still have some photos of fatter versions of myself around the house and it doesn’t bother me
I do have some no-good, horrible, fat photos that never fail to make me cringe. These are not on display. However, I also have some fat photos where I am neatly groomed, well attired, smiling and with my family. These are on display. Ironically, I have far less shame for my morbidly obese self now that I am no longer morbidly obese. However, if we were ever to take a more recent family photo I would probably replace them since they would be more up-to-date and I do enjoy looking thin in my photos.
8) I am one of the Nursing Online Education Database’s Top 100 Health and Wellness Blogs
Okay, this is not so much a fact as a way to thank the NOED for linking to me and to point out a list of 100 health and wellness blogs. It’s an annotated list too, which means it must have taken forever to put together. I was recently putting together some footnotes and it was a horrible, draining, tedious process that made me glad I am no longer in school. However, the list is a good place to start if you are looking for more health resources online.
I’m not going to tag anyone because I am a daring rule-breaker, but if you want to run with these, go for it. And if you just want to run, period, go for that too! Just remember to stretch first.
Hey everybody, NBC is bringing American Gladiators back to television! You’ve got until October 1 to submit your application. I spent several summers of my childhood watching reruns of American Gladiators on the USA cable network between airings of My Two Dads, The Facts of Life and Just the Ten of Us. Each show featured two male and two female competitors who would face off against the “gladiators” in several trials of strength, agility and balance. Unlike the Roman gladiator games, there were no tigers or pointy spears, but there were huge Q-tips.
When they weren’t working out or abusing performance enhancing drugs, gladiators had part-time jobs performing inner-ear hygiene on giants. They also used the big Q-Tips in the “Joust” competition where competitors stood on two raised platforms and tried to knock each other onto the mats below. I doubt I would do very well in that game because I was the girl who was terrified to jump out of the back of the school bus during emergency evacuation drills. If I were to find myself at the top of a 6-foot platform being menaced by a bodybuilder on steroids called Zap, I’d drop the Q-tip and curl into a ball to cushion my inevitable fall.
A lot of the events on this show were rather ridiculous, which is why they were so fun to watch. All the gladiators had silly one word names like Laser, Turbo, or Bronco that made it sound like they were forming their own mutant superhero team. Each season was one long tournament and whichever competitor scored more points on each show got to move onto the next round. It will be interesting to see how they remake this series. I certainly have more appreciation for the athletic abilities it takes to do well climbing walls and dodging balls now that I’ve tried tennis and that I run on the trail as regularly as I am passed by other runners.
The application itself is interesting to read. For instance, you should not “harm anyone or any animals in the making of [your] video.” Thanks, I really needed that to be clarified. In question number 4 they ask “Do you work out?” but only leave four lines for people to brag about all the weight they can bench press. I’m betting people are going to be scrawling in the margins on that one. I also love how question number 19, “What conversation topics are ‘off limits’ for you at a dinner party?” is probably only be asked so they can needle you about said topics at your interview to see if you explode like a crazy person.
Question number 27 has you gauge your level of skill at different activities. Some of them are what you would expect: bungee jumping, gymnastics, rock climbing. But they also include things like: being bratty, manipulating people and tempting the opposite sex. Oh…kay. It’s as thought they just slip them in there between “high diving” and “motorcycle riding” to see if you’re paying attention. I took a long questionnaire for extra-credit in psychology once that was similar. You’d get a dozen questions asking if you liked reading books or if you like setting schedules and then suddenly they’d ask, “Can you read the thoughts of dogs?”
For question 42 you have to write a short poem or rap. For number 43 you have to draw a picture of yourself. Yes, draw, not attach a photo, but actually sketch your visage.
Also note that you cannot be a candidate for public office nor can you become one for a year after the show airs. So we won’t be seeing Hillary Clinton running The Eliminator.
I’m looking forward to the return of this show, though I know I could never be a contender as a contestant. I’ll have to settle for jousting my cat with normal-sized Q-tips for now.