Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in — Post-Holiday Edition!

Well, good morning, friends and neighbors! Don’t forget your booties, ’cause it’s COLD out there!
cold otu there

Anyway, let’s get to what you’ve been waiting for – the moment when I face the music and weigh in, following a holiday week of unbridled foodly exuberance! Ready? Here goes:

Wow … um … that’s actually great!!

Not to mention completely unexpected. Especially when you consider that for the past four days, my conversation has consisted primarily of:

“Oh, all right, I’ll have some pie.”
“Sure, I’ll finish off that pumpkin pie.”
“Is that apple pie?”
“Oh, no, the alternator needs to be repaired? Rats. Well, let’s go sit in that diner while we wait. Maybe they’ll have some pie.”


BUT — even though I definitely had more pie than originally planned, and even though I gave myself permission not to write down my calories on those days — guess what? In the back of my mind, I was still keeping a running total.

And even though I went past the daily calorie goal set for me by MyFitnessPal (1460), I didn’t go *much* past it. No giant bags of Doritos or boxes of Cheez-Its for the road trip out/back. (“We’ll get a box! That way we can make it last the whole trip!“)

No “make your own waffles” plus two bowls of cereal plus a couple of those delicious chocolate muffins from the La Quinta’s continental breakfast room every morning.

No, even though it wasn’t intentional, I kinda switched back to the good ol’ reliable “No S Diet” for the past four days. That’s where you only eat 3 meals a day, one plate per meal, and no snacks.

“Hey, wait a minute!” I can hear you screaming, all the way from the other side of the screen. “Pie’s a snack! You cheated! You cheating cheater!! Unfollow!!!”

Calm down, pal. It’s OK. Want some ice? There, there. You’re quite right. Pie isn’t a snack. However, if you put it on your plate, along with the rest of your meal — guess what? It’s no longer a snack — it’s a vital part of your healthy meal!!
'Pumpkin pie isn't dessert. It's another vegetable.'

Well, technically, I think even the nice folks at the “No S” forums (a great place to get nutritional advice, btw) would argue, convincingly, that pie IS kinda sorta a snack-like food. Still, technically, if I had it on my plate and it filled up the plate … well, that’s the sort of argument that could go on for months, if not years.

Meanwhile, I’ve got my GIANT POST-HOLIDAY WEIGHT LOSS to throw in those pie-haters’ faces! Nyah nyah!! I ate pie and lost weight! How did YOU do, with your celery and your salad greens and your … your KALE??

Whew! Sorry about that! Lost my temper there, for a moment. Nothing wrong with salad greens and kale! Celery is another matter — everyone knows celery is the Devil’s walking stick (and to get that all-important “pingback” in, two celery stalks could be the Devil’s knitting needles, I guess)  — but hey, if you like it, well, we’ll just agree to disagree.

Anyway … hey, I lost weight over the holidays!! But I’ll tell you a secret — if I’d gained, it wouldn’t have surprised me a bit. Given the fact that we just spent four days in a row experiencing the joys of family togetherness and bliss, I’m amazed that I didn’t gain back every pound I’ve lost since last year.

But now we’re home, and things can get back to (semi)normal. For a while, anyway. I understand there’s another holiday on the horizon.

So — how about you? How’d YOU do over the long Thanksgiving weekend? Tell me, tell me —

What did you eat?
What did you do?
Where did you go?
What did you chew?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Question: What do “The Orville” and “The Friday Five” have in common?

Answer: Besides humor, wit, creativity, cleverness, and a solid commitment to their legions of fans, you mean?

Question: Well, yeah, obviously. Hey, did we switch roles?

Answer: What do you mean?

Question: Uh, I mean, I’m supposed to be “Question,” and you’re supposed to be “Answer,” right.

Answer: Yeah, so?

Question: So, you’re asking just as many questions as I am, if not more, and you still haven’t provided anything even remotely resembling a definitive “answer,” in any way, shape, or form.

Answer: Oh yeah, huh. I see what you mean. Sorry about that, man. Lots of you yesterday, y’know?

Question: Oh, you mean the tryptophan effect?

Answer: Yeah, I’m really out of it this morning.

Question: Okay, well, no worries, then. Hey — would it help if I answered my own question, then?

Answer: You’d do that for me??

Question: Sure, why not?

Answer: [silent]

Question: You still there, man?

Answer: [sniffs] Yeah … wow, man, that is REALLY nice of you. I gotta say, you’re a stand-up kinda guy. Really.

Question: [embarrassed] Aw, c’mon, don’t get all emotional on me. You’d do the same for me, I bet.

Answer: [wipes away tears] Yeah. [sniffles] Yeah. We been through a lot together.

Question: Yeah. ‘Nam, man. ‘Nam.

Answer: [respectful silence]

Question: [squares shoulders resolutely] ANYway — to answer my own question — the Friday Five is postponed till next week, because of the Thanksgiving holiday — JUST LIKE “THE ORVILLE”!

Answer: [breaks into wild applause] That was AWESOME, man!

Question: [pleased but embarrassed] Aw, shucks, man, don’t clutch your pearls.

It was just a routine announcement. No biggie.

Answer: Yeah, but you got STYLE, man! You got that special somethin’ — I dunno what, but it makes me wanna just stand up an’ cheer!

Question: Well, thanks, man — you’re all right too. Why don’t you go back to bed and sleep off the rest of that turkey, and I’ll see you later on?

Answer: You got it!

Question and Answer: [in unison] And HAPPY THANKSGIVING, everybody!

Time for the Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in!, and Don’t Let The Numbers Get You Down!

“Aha!” I bet you’re thinking. “Based on that provocative title, I bet she’s got a weight GAIN to report this week!”

Well, let’s find out, shall we? Here we go:

Get the brownie mix!

Down 0.4 pounds, baby! Although — let me tell you a li’l story.

This morning, I got up at about 5:45 a.m. to let the cats out. (Yes, we let our cats go out. They come back. They sleep for the rest of the day. Don’t hate me.) I held the door open for them for about five minutes, as I shivered in the subzero Arctic temperatures (46° F, brr!!), till they finally sauntered out.

On the way back to my warm warm bed, I stepped on the digital scales and weighed myself, for the first time.

Man alive!

Needless to say, I was stoked! Almost 7 pounds lost since last week? What a killer blog I was gonna have today! The late, great Huell Howser would arise from the sludge of his eternal resting place (Palm Springs, I believe), to proclaim my awesomeness!


But guess what? After lying in bed for about an hour, dreaming of my frabjillious weight loss, I finally got up (the cats again — this time, they wanted FOOD, ferkryinoutlowd), and weighed myself again.

And guess what? I’d gained back 6 of those magical 7 pounds!! All in the space of a little more than an hour!


So — if you’re one of those people who lives and dies by the numbers on the scale, maybe you need to rethink your philosophy of life, the universe, and weight loss. Those numbers can drive you nuts, if you think too much about them. Numbers suck, really.


And I for one am thrilled that I’ve lost as much weight as I have already. If anyone who tells you “calories don’t count,” you have my permission to punish them, severely!


Have a super-awesome week, everyone, and a happy Thanksgiving to all!


Friday Five: Just a bunch of sorry excuses

Welp, I got up this morning and realized I had a blog post to write, and I hadn’t prepared for it at ALL. My deepest apologies! Here are some of the reasons I procrastinated this week.

  1. Celebrity sexual harassment. Unfortunately, even though I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years, and even worked on the peripheries of Show Biz (answering phones at a radio station), I’ve never been sexually harassed by a celebrity. I’ve been NONsexually harassed – Sandy Duncan once spat the F-word at me – but in her defense, she’d asked for coffee and I’d brought her hot chocolate, because the coffee machine wasn’t working right.
    But, since bitchiness isn’t a hate crime (yet), I’ll just have to hang onto all those juicy tidbits.
  2. Rain. Yes, it actually rained out here in sunny Southern California! Well, not so much rain. You know how you’ll be driving, and suddenly notice there are little droplets of water on your windshield, so you turn your windshield wipers on, but there aren’t enough little droplets of water and the wipers screech really loud, so you turn them off, and then more droplets show up, just to taunt you? That kind of rain. Like maybe the angels in Heaven are spitting at you. Or maybe Sandy Duncan. Anyway, it rained.
  3. Tar and slurry. The City decided to do some asphalt work on our street Tuesday, so we had to move our cars off the street for the whole day, as they were starting early-early-early. Well, 7:00 AM, which is kind of early. And I hear they didn’t actually start till 7:30ish. But still, I decided to take advantage of the situation and do a Road! Trip! to visit some bookstores in Orange County, specifically Bookman, Book Carnival, and Altair-4, all on Tustin Avenue. Which, I discovered after the three-hour drive to get there, was ALSO being asphalted. Nevertheless, I persevered and got some great books, which meant I spent a lot of quality time reading, rather than writing or creating.
  4. Memory Loss. On the way home from Orange County (see #3), I stopped at the grocery store to get some mundane but necessary items, specifically Kraft Grated Parmesan (2 teaspoons = 20 calories, mmm!) which we’d just run out of. The nice, chatty cashier bagged my groceries while we discussed life, the universe, and everything. I had to park a couple of blocks from my house as the street was still tarry, but I figured, hey, exercise, right? So I lugged everything home, and guess what wasn’t in the bag?
    parmesanYou got it. So I walked BACK to my car, hoping it’d fallen out, but it wasn’t there. Oh well – I didn’t feel like driving all the way back to the store, so there went four bucks, right down the drain. The next day, I went to a different grocery store to buy more Parmesan, and also some dry cat food, which we’d also just run out of. This time, I used the “self-checkout” and bagged my own groceries. Got home, and guess what was missing?
    cat food

    So, my brain’s had a rough week. Which kinda ties in with:

  1. Sheer laziness. We just started Daylight Savings Time this past week, so you’d think I’d be up a little earlier in the morning, given that nice cushy extra hour we were handed on a silver platter. Well, no – I always THINK that’s how it’s gonna be, but in reality, that extra hour just winds up getting converted into sleep, and pretty quickly, too. I mean, come on, I can’t work when it’s dark!

So there you go, friends, five more or less good reasons why I couldn’t come up with a halfway decent Friday Five this week. I’ll see if I can do better next week. Meanwhile, have a great weekend!


(Unused pingback of the day: Mushroom!)


Pumpkin Spice Weekly Weigh-In!

Good morning, all! Happy Monday! Time for the weigh-in – let’s see … carry the one … adjust for clothing …


219 and feelin’ fine! Well, that’s not all that much of a loss, but hey, given that I slightly overindulged this weekend (thanks, Trader Joe!), I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Mmm, Pumpkin Ginger Mini Hold the Cones — irresistible!

Speaking of pumpkin flavor, pumpkin scent, pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin, doesn’t that seem to be a bit of an overused riff round this time of year?

I mean, sure, it goes well with a lot of stuff …


coffee and such-like …

and I suppose you could even make a plausible argument in favor of stuff like this:


but sometimes, I think maybe we’re carrying it a little too far…

And what if you’re allergic to pumpkin spice? There’s no pumpkin spice Benadryl yet, though I’m sure won’t be long.


I dunno. I like the stuff myself, but doesn’t it seem a tad overused?


Welp … if we get too worried about it, there’s always —


Have a pumpkin-spiced day, everyone!



Friday Five – Wacky Diet Ideas!



Happy Friday, everyone! Today I thought it might be fun to look at some diet ideas that:

  • sound like they should work, but don’t in real life;
  • sound like they SHOULDN’T work, but actually HAVE, in real life; and
  • silly ideas that no one I know has tried, but sound like fun.

Ready? Let’s strut some stuff!!

  1. This Should Work. Why Doesn’t It Work? When I was a kid, a friend of my parents — let’s call her “Mrs. Bea Goode” — a school psychologist or something, suggested I try a “simply marvelous!” behavior modification trick she’d picked up somewhere (probably on TV): surround yourself with a whole bunch (“oodles and oodles!”) of all the foods you simply LOVE to snack on — more than you think you’ll ever actually need — and keep them right out in the open, where you can get them any time you want. According to Mrs. Goode, the reason we eat too much is because, way down deep inside our little caveman brains, we’re terrified of being deprived. Once our brain realizes there’s MORE than enough food around, we’ll relax, and not eat so much. And cavemen had it goin’ on, right?
    Well, after a week of scarfing down every last Taco Flavored Dorito and Li’l Debbie Snack Cake my mom had brought home, we decided there was probably a flaw in that idea somewhere, namely that having enough to keep MY little caveman brain satisfied might require taking a second mortgage on the house. So it didn’t last long. But boy howdy, was that a fun week for me!

  2. The Tapeworm Diet. Yeah, people actually did this, and apparently still do it today, the sillies! You swallowed the tapeworm (ugh), which took up residence in your tum-tum and ate all the food you sent down.
    Moe and Curly did a routine about it in “Punch Drunk” (1934):

    Turns out tapeworms aren’t really that good for your overall health. Who’da thunk it?

  1. The Twinkie Diet. This is the one that SOUNDS like it should kill you, sorta like the Cigarette Diet.

    but it actually DID result in weight loss for a guy named Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University!

    According to aworkoutroutine, Professor Haub

    …went from eating 2600 calories per day (his estimated maintenance level) to eating about 1800 calories per day instead. He just so happened to get the majority of those 1800 daily calories from the most junky foods you can think of.

    and those junky foods consisted of

    …Twinkies, Little Debbie cakes, Doritos, [hey, wonder if he knew Mrs. Bea Goode?], Oreos, sugary cereals like Corn Pops and other equally crappy foods that are all highly processed, lacking in nutritional value, loaded with sugar and “bad” carbs, high in “bad” fat, contain trans fat, and possess other similar traits that are common among typical “junk food.”

    And he lost

    …27lbs in 2 months and reduced his body fat percentage from 33.4% to 24.9%.

    Why? Simple – because he ate fewer calories than he burned. That’s how you lose weight. That’s how I’m losing weight.

    Now, nutrition counts, too, so no one (including Mark Haub) is recommending this is a regular way of eating.
    He did it just to prove a point: calories DO count!

  1. The NBC Diet. Now, this one (and #5) are diets my husband and I came up with, in one of those conversations that just gets sillier and sillier till one of you gets tired and wanders into the kitchen for a snack. But hey — it SOUNDS good! And not too much different, in theory, from Mark Haub’s diet. Here it is (drum roll please!):

    The NBC Diet – Nothin’ But Cheese!
    Mmm, I could do that, couldn’t you?

  1. After You! And of course, there’s the ever-popular “After You” diet, for couples. First one in the house after getting home from work, church, etc. has to cook supper.
    “After you!”
    “No, YOU get out first!
    “No, YOU!”
    “Hello, police? Our neighbors have been sitting in their car for three days!”

That’s your Friday Five! Have a great weekend! I’ll be back bright and early on Monday, struttin’  my Weekly Weigh-in – let’s see if a weekend of “NBC” results in a gain or a loss!

Weekly Weigh-In, plus Diet Wisdom from Martin Luther!

First things first:

Weight loss heaven!scales

Wow – I’m in my teens again!!! Can I start texting and making snide remarks about everything? Oh wait, I already do that.

Anyway, this past Saturday, I was driving aimlessly around the Valley (San Fernando, in case you’ve heard of another), listening to AM radio (on Saturdays, it’s mostly food shows and tax advice), and getting hungrier and hungrier.

I stopped at the Quickie Mart to get some cash out of the ATM, and gazed longingly at the crappy-yet-fascinating hot food: hamburgers, pizza, hot wings and mmmm hot dogs!
Suddenly … I was jonesin’ for a chili dog! I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my fondness for the many-times-aforementioned Canadian sitcom “Corner Gas,” in which chili dogs often serve as major plot points, or at least props.

My “Diet Brain” took note of my longing, and immediately started yelling at me:

“You can’t eat a chili dog! Do you know how many calories are in those? You’ll wreck your diet and gain back every single pound you’ve lost! Don’t be a schmuck!”

Then my stomach retaliated by sending long, groaning complaints up and down the alimentary canal, taunting Diet Brain with unquenchable longings.

Then – a miracle happened! Diet Brain and Stomach Brain were both interrupted by the voice of the great Protestant reformer, Martin Luther!

I know, right??

Now, I should just break in here and point out a couple of things:

1) I’m a Catholic, so Martin Luther isn’t usually a huge source of inspiration for me.

2) This isn’t a religious blog, and it’s not suddenly going to morph into one.

However, at that moment, I DISTINCTLY heard good ol’ Martin’s voice in my head, loud and clear, saying what he’s often purported to have said at least once: “If you’re gonna sin – sin boldly!”


And I thought, “Martin, ol’ boy, you’re right! If I’m gonna go wild on the calories, I’m not gonna settle for a grungy convenience store chili dog! I’m gonna get the best one I can possibly find, and really ENJOY it!”

So, long story short, I wound up buying a chili dog at a place called The Munch Box, in Chatsworth, California – an actual historical landmark!

And I ordered me a chili dog. And that was the BEST dang chili dog I’ve ever had in my entire life! (At least, the best one I can remember. I’m almost 60, so my memory isn’t what it used to be.)

So here’s how I’d rephrase Martin’s purported* theological wisdom. If you’re going to defy your “Diet Brain,” don’t be a wimp about it. If you really want something, and you can’t stop thinking about it, then by golly gumdrops, don’t just settle for one of Apu’s rejects!
apu weiner

No sir (or ma’am)! Get the BEST possible version of it you can!

So just for today – listen to Martin Luther! Don’t just sneakily grab a few extra calories here, a few extra grams of fat there. If a chili dog is the panacea you need, then a chili dog is what you should have!

Thanks, Martin!

Friday Five – Take control of your numbers!

Hey, everyone! Depressed because the numbers on the scale aren’t going the direction you think they should? Never fear! Here’s five ideas to help you take control of those nasty numbers!

1. As recommended by many, many REPUTABLE fitness folks, including Jay at aworkoutroutine.com, don’t just weigh yourself once a week. Even if you’re doing so on the same day, at the same time, in the same clothing, your weight does fluctuate a LOT, even during the course of a day, and you may just happen to catch yourself at a point where it’s fluctuated upwards from last week’s – even though you’re still losing! Weigh yourself every day, 7* days a week, add those 7* numbers together, and divide by 7*, for a much more accurate weekly weight.

'Add the numbers, divide by how many numbers you've added and there you have it-the average amount of minutes you sleep in class each day.'

2. *If you’re like me, and like taking the weekends off, substitute “5” for those “7s” in 1. above. Monday through Friday works better for me. More businesslike, shall we say. And those of us who were caught in the Great Downsizing of 2009, who now spend our time working for pennies at Amazon Mechanical Turk, taking surveys, and writing inane blogs, need to preserve as businesslike a mien as possible, n’est pas?

3. Ditch the fractions! Fractions are nobody’s friend. They drove you nuts in junior high, and they’ve never stopped. How many times has this happened to you? You weigh yourself on Monday – 221.1. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – all 221.1. Looking good, right? Then comes the Friday Fluctuation Express – 222.7! Holey Moley! Now your weekly average (if you’re dividing by 5 – see 2., above) is 221.3! And you’re all freaked out, because you gained 0.2 pounds! Try this: DITCH THAT FRACTION! Now your weekly average is 221, and danged if you didn’t LOSE 0.1 pounds!

Strut your stuff, baby, and tell Math to take a hike!

4. Trick your brain! That big piece o’flesh inside your skull is the perennial Lennie to your George. Even when you TELL it, “Hey, Lennie, I’m gonna be fooling you this week,” ol’ Lennie just smiles and say, “Duh, OK, George! Say, where’s them rabbits?” So here’s what you’re gonna do, George. You know how, when you weigh yourself, you’re usually either completely naked, or at least mostly (depending on the temperature)? Well, this week only, weigh yourself every day COMPLETELY CLOTHED. Shoes, work clothes, parka – the works!

Naturally, your weekly average THIS week will be higher – a gain. But get this – the FOLLOWING week, when you resume stripping down to au natural status again – GUARANTEED weight loss, in two weeks, baby! For the rabbits, George!

5. And, if all else fails –

That’s it for today! Hope you have a great weekend! Oh, and if you’re not one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to deal with it, enjoy that extra hour of darkness on Monday morning!



(Unused Pingback of the Day: Neighbors!)