There is no way around this. I am large. Full on fat.
And I mean that in the nicest way possible.
I am corpulent. Disgusting. Rotund. Obese.
Go ahead judge me. Place me on the scales of social comment and weigh me down with your words. I can take it – after all I am a big boy. And I do mean big. Huge even. Go ahead snicker and snidely aside to your trim posse of the svelte.
The past year. Well really these past many years I have tried to lose some weight. I set reasonable achievable goals of 5 pounds this month. 2 kilos. And it does work. For a while. I have dropped 15 pounds some years starting from January and keeping on into September. Then October hits and it starts with the food fests – Thanksgiving, Halloween, and into Christmas. Food glorious food!
My bane however is a simple pastry. An easy to make and easy to eat flaky fold of delight. The apple turnover. Oh how do I love thee – let me count your flaky sheets of joy! Here are the food stats on a typical apple turnover.
Calories:400 Sodium:150 mg Total Fat: 16 g Sugar: 26 g
Nutritional value? minimal amounts of vitamin C and A. Not exactly a health food.
For the past ten years I have walked past a coffee shop on my way into work – and the smell of cinnamon and coffee has lured me in nearly every morning. Fresh baked goodness tickling my nose, tantalizing my tongue. Pavlovian zombie I slip inside. Grab a cup, fill it up. Add 1% milk to cool the hot black brew. Make a promise to only buy the coffee. Stand in the line that snakes past the pastry display. Resolve firm. Smell cinnamon. Eyes glance. See that delicate curve. Soft gleam of sugar. The seeping hot inner juices wanting to be set free.
Just. One. More. Time. Only. I surrender, slip one into the white paper bag. Quickly pay and rush out with my sweet sin firmly in hand.
I walk out with coffee and apple turnover. Back into the fresh air. Slip the pastry free of it coverings, and savour the first sweet flaky mouth filling bite. This is happiness. This is joy. This is guilt. Once more I have given into that wonderfully seductive pastry.
For years I justified that excess by not eating breakfast. After all breakfast is about 400 calories as well – so it is all a trade-off right? Except breakfast may contain other ingredients – many with real nutritional value and fibre. And a heck of a lot less sugar. But none are as sweet and as full of joy as my apple turnover.
This January I resolved to stop the pastry guilt trips of gluttony. This January I did the math – 400 fewer calories primarily from sugar and complex carbs times 5 is 2000 calories. Times 52 is 104,000 calories. And that is 29 pounds. That is of course the optimal count – let’s be conservative and say 20 pounds for the year.
And dollar-wise that was $1.50/day. $7.40/week. $390/year. Again let’s be conservative and say $300/year saved.
Here it is 6 months later in July, and I have managed to *mostly* avoid the lure of apple turnovers. I should be 10 pounds lighter given all else being constant. Weight check: Up 5 pounds. WTF!?
So I reviewed my food diary (as spotty as my record keeping is…) and the problem is of course that I didn’t really stop eating that 400 calories! As I mentioned I had already deluded myself into making apple turnovers a part of my (un)healthy breakfast. By eating breakfast at home – even if it was one piece of multi-grain toast with butter (or cream cheese) and a small serving of fruit – I was still eating at least 400 calories. A slice of multi-grain bread with butter is about 200 calories. A banana is about 100 calories. That breakfast is 20 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fat. Plus more fibre, and other nutrients. So plus on the better eating. Not so much on the caloric intake.
And here is the kicker – because I ate breakfast at home I was finding myself hungry by mid-morning and snacking. Now my snacks are reasonable on the healthy scale – being some combination of fruit/veggies/nuts/yogurt/water. BUT under my own “less healthy” eating pattern I never ate snacks.
Conclusion: Fat man FAIL.
This morning I walked past that coffee shop and walked into the tantalizing sinful aroma of sweet pastry sins. It was the best god-damn fricking pastry I have ever eaten. It was like going home for Christmas and finding out that Santa Claus is totally real. Cinnamon sugar fantastically awesomely real. In case you didn’t quite get that: I enjoyed that apple turnover like nothing before. I’d go all cliche on you and say it was better than sex – but since fat-men don’t have sex I wouldn’t really know!
Whew. That was good. Now if you’ll excuse me I think I need a smoke.
Way back in time one of the games we played was cowboys and indians. Not a very politically correct game anymore. We had cowboy hats, holsters, toy guns and toy stars and of course toy handcuffs. The Lone Ranger being one spark to our culturally inappropriate games.
Handcuffs fascinated me. Simple sturdy metal. Like most toys of my childhood made from sturdy metal. Plastic was still off in the future.
They look almost real – real enough to be used to scare the less critical into thinking these are real kid size cuffs. But no fear – they have quick release buttons on the side. No keys involved at all. Now toy cuffs are plastic. Well except for the adult-play kind which tend to be fur-lined and more exotic.
Still I remember being locked up with these toy cuffs and how easy it was to pop the buttons. Or when the button jammed pulling on the soft metal S-hook connector until the cuffs popped apart.
You can still find these at flea-markets and online via antique sites. There is a large selection for sale over on e-bay.
Our children don’t play those same games anymore because at their heart those games reflected a cultural divide. The game inherently contained social judgement that the “cowboys” were the good guys, and the indians the bad guys. And that is simply a nonsensical colonial narrative that served to justify unspeakable abuse and horror. Of course we haven’t really grown that much or that far from when this abuse was acceptable. We just like to pretend that we are more mature, more civilized, and more accepting.
Growing up in “white” Ontario I was often mistaken for a “native”. Through my teen years I was given various nicknames that reflected my vaguely “indian” features. These were not terms of endearment. I remember sneaking into a bar and having an older white man comment: “who da f’ck let the f’cking ‘skimo in here? That wasn’t that long ago – and that “older” attitude still percolates close to the surface of our civilized veneer.
It is rather disquieting how an innocent childhood toy can be a defining metaphor for institutionalized hatred and oppression. Yet there it is – a toy that is no longer a toy. A toy embedded with yesterdays sorrow.
Over the years we culturally have changed. We are more diverse. More accepting. And we have invented other cultural ghosts to terrorize our xenophobia. Still we mostly are getting better. At least we are better at saying “sorry”. The reality is there is still such a long long way to go.
It has suddenly dawned on me what this world needs more of, oh so much more. First of all you all need more advice and wisdom. Don’t worry I have that covered – so stay with me and I’ll share that with you. No charge. Second of all the world simply needs more lists. So here is a dangling listicle of advisement pleasure:
- There are no rules for blogging. Yes you heard me right – you get to do whatever you think is best when writing a blog. Shocking I know. Take a deep breath and let that sink in for a moment.
- There are rules for good blogging. Yeah I messed with you there with Number 1, and that first big reveal of freedom. There are things you can do to create an effective popular blog. When I find out what those things are I will share them with you via an e-book. Only $29.95. But if you pre-order now I will take say $5 via paypal? It is an investment in your future.
- Don’t write poetry. Poetry blogs suck. Anyone that writes poetry sucks. They are angst filled pound-puppy rejects of blogging swill. Don’t believe me? This is a Poetry Blog – go ahead take a look around – OH…and bring a bucket.
- Post Photos. Lots of photos. It will guarantee your success as a blogger. The internet started out as text and slip-streamed into images and video faster than a porn-star on blow. Which reminds me that the biggest hits on the internet are naked pictures of women and cats. Only the cats aren’t naked. The other common element is both types of photos often include boxes of on kind or another. Mostly the other.
- Sex. I don’t have to explain this do I? You know the old saying those who can do – and the rest of us read about it.
- Be a woman blogger. Women bloggers get followers faster than flowers get bees. Especially attractive women. And if you are a witty, attractive woman it is even better. Add a provocative photo of yourself, and the internet is like a baby crying for a nipple. I started a TUMBLR account as a twenty-something woman, re-posting steamy photos and I had more followers and dirty emails in a month then I could handle. And mostly those emails were all about the handling. I deleted the account.
- Be a celebrity blogger. Nothing says success like being a celebrity sharing your thoughts and opinions on everything, everywhere, every time. Of course being a celebrity kinda bypasses the whole chicken-and-egg dilemma from the blogging sense. Being a celebrity ensures the success of your blog no matter what you are saying. Add some photos of yourself – maybe topless sun-bathing and Oh-la-la! And yes twitter counts as blogging when you post every 30-seconds…
- Write about celebrities. It is like Number 7 in a coat-tails parasitic symbiosis kinda way. And I mean that in the best ways possible! Naked photos add hits (see Jennifer Lawrence…)
- Be funny! I cannot emphasize this enough. Funny gets you followers. We all lead bitter lonely lives in our own silent realities – why do I need to read about someone else’s sad sorry life? I tried to be funny once – it was quite the tragedy.
- Be tragic! I just said “Be Funny” and now I say “Be Tragic”? Look I don’t have to be right when I give out free advice, but I do have to cover all the bases. The best thing in the world is a sad-tragic tale told in a darkly humorous style. It is good to laugh – it is even better to laugh at other people’s misery and stupidity! Add some photographs and SNAP! You is a blogging star.
- Create Lists. Lots and lots of lists. Want people to view hundreds of naked women (or fully furred felines?) then create a list of TOP-TEN Bikini Bodies. Mix in pictures of cats in bikinis and you have multiple points from this list covered! You will be a google god!
- Mention Jennifer Lawrence at least once. Search Optimization. Jennifer Lawrence Naked is the number one search term out there.
- Never have Thirteen items in your list. It is just way too long!
- Post in time for breakfast. People want to read short-snappy feel good items as they have a coffee. Eggs over-easy with a side of listicals. Oh that is good.
I guarantee that if you follow my advice you will be a blogger. Mainly because if you follow my advice you will create a blog – and so it follows you are then a blogger. The successful part has nothing to do with me or my listical of blogging wisdom.
Carry on and keep blogging.
It is silent here.
No laughter. No voices. No keyboard clicks of wonderment and joy.
It is empty here. Mostly it has always been that way. The longer I do this blogging act of desperation, the wiser I become as to my own talent and star-power. I got nothing.
I’ve tried the various techniques to build audience and traffic. Did the hours and hours of visits to other blogs and other sites. Leaving traces of my own passing. Calling cards and invitations for others to come back here and play. Natch.
I posted two poems yesterday. I have over 3000 theoretical followers. I cross-posted and re-posted across a dozen other sites and social media hubs. Wait what is that sound? Do you hear it. It is only the wind whispering over the Ethernet, the wind chortling ever so softly: “loser.”
Yesterday’s grand total views: 32
And over half of those views are here: https://merlinspielen.com/2013/06/18/fear-of-apples/
I guess I should take solace that I own the searches for Fear of Apples and Malusdomesticaphobia. I am a google god!
Why do I bother? Been 4 years of posting now. Almost daily. I should probably stop wasting my time. Or at least stop fretting about how many people read these words.
So tell me is anyone actually reading these posts? Or should I just pack it all in and fuggedaboutit…
I know mainly what I am doing wrong is writing crappy meaningless poetry. Without any pretty pictures. I should include pictures. Pretty pictures of naked women to accompany my poems. Of course if I had naked women to to take pictures of, well I wouldn’t be writing poetry. I’d have other things on my mind. Or at least on my face…oh now maybe that will get me some more hits! Salacious delicious sexual content.
Okay carry on then – did my regular angst-dump on WTF am I doing writing this crap and paying for the privilege of hosting.
The reality is sinking in at this point. I am quite adequate with words. I’m just not very good at it. And no matter what I will always scrawl out random stanza’s that leak from another dimension.
Yeah I know: Life isn’t fair, and that is just the way it is. I saw Labyrinth so I get the life-lesson already.
Yesterday was a big day for me! A day of reward and unexpected success. So yes indeed Merry Christmas to me!
Yesterday I had the “single day” most views ever on my blog at 1,798 views. My normal daily traffic is around 65 daily views. This is what that looks like visually:
Excuse the blurry screenshot (I’ll fix that later cause I’m in a rush….). You can see the essence of what I am saying with the massive blue-bar on the right towering over all other days! Or to think of it another way in one day I almost had as many views as I would get in one month!
Thanks folks for reading all about what to do with left-over Prime Rib.