55 by 55


forums.comicbookresources.comA year ago my daughter became engaged to a wonderful young man.  She called me to share the news, and after I hung up I was surprised at my first thought.  My first thought wasn’t “I hope I can save enough money to help them pay for the wedding,” or “I hope she is making the right choice,” or “Thats three out of four now married,”…..no, my first thought was “Crap, I need to lose some weight!”  For my whole entire life I have been overweight.  The other day there was a conversation in our office about what the ladies weighed when they got married.  One was 125 pounds, one weighed in at  135, and the other tipped the scales at 115.  They then looked at me, and I just laughed heartily and said “I beat you all…I weighed all of those numbers by the time I graduated from eighth grade!”  We all laughed because they thought I was kidding….HA!  Actually, when I got married I weighed 195 pounds, and am 5 foot 9.  My mom thought I was overweight at that time, and always encouraged me to lose a little “for my health.”  We were raised eating meat and potatoes for supper 4-5 nights a week and snacked on buttery popcorn in the evening. I didn’t stand a chance…I just loved food!

In grade school I was the one picked last for teams in PE (I just want to go on record and send up a plea to the teachers…please just count off the kids to avoid humiliating kids everywhere)  On the playground I would be on one end of the teeter totter, with 2 friends on the other end.  They loved me, so they would face each other and share the handle, even though the one without the seat had to be a little more careful, if you know what I mean.  My clothes were purchased in the “husky” section, now they call that section of the store the Pretty Plus section, so bless the kind human who thought up that name change.  If I situated myself on the outside of the Tilt-A-Whirl car, my friends could almost get whiplash from the spinning.

photo credit:amazon.comIn high school the  boys wouldn’t give me a second look when I stood next to my slim friends,but were seldom cruel to me.  We had a small high school, and these were kids I had known for my entire life, and fat was the only way they knew me.  My mom would give me a hug, wipe away my tears and tell me that they didn’t matter anyway!  She assured me that once I got into college the men would be different, and would love my personality instead.  I admit that it did happen as she predicted, and while I was still overweight, I could hold my own against the skinny-minnies.  I will admit that sometimes it is easy to hide behind the plumpness….I can flirt with the best of them, and have a lot of guy friends of all ages.  There is comfort in begin overweight because you know they wouldn’t be interested in you in a romantic nature, so you can be yourself and relax.  Of course there are drawbacks….the other night we were watching a trailer for “Pitch Perfect” and my daughter and I roared when we saw Fat Amy wearing a swimsuit just like mine.  “OMG…Fat Amy has my swimsuit on!!!!”  It was hilarious I will admit, and if a person can’t laugh at herself she will be a stick in the mud for sure.

There are the many misguided thoughts throughout the world when it comes to plump women.  Number one: No, we aren’t dirty.  Believe it or not, we take baths just like skinny people, and even put on deodorant AND perfume.  Number two:  We have no self-control or we wouldn’t be fat.  Well that one is partly true, but we must have some self-control or else we would have punched out a lot of skinny snobs who have looked down on us.  Number three:  We must not mind being fat, or else we would change that.  Again, that one for the most part is true, but I think that many overweight people have tried so many times to lose weight and failed, that it’s easier to just give up and live in shame.

The other day I went through the personal care section of Walmart and I passed the Dr. Scholls display for shoe inserts, stopping to look them over.  As a nurse I am on my feet during the day, so maybe they would be a great addition to my tennis shoes.  It instructed you to take off your shoes (right away…not a great idea to me), step on the footprints on the kiosk and push start.  Now, again, the first thing that came to mind was that a booming voice was going to yell at me from the kiosk, telling me to put down the small child in my arms….even though I was the only one around for 10 feet.  I actually laughed out loud, and thought that maybe I would pass on the inserts for now.

005This summer, I had to get off of a ride at a theme park, in front of my family, because they couldn’t bring down the bar far enough to securely hold me in.  Now, you would think with that humiliation I would do something to change my life?  I did, I went to the food stand while they enjoyed the ride, and ate a corn dog.  As I write this I am shaking my head in amazement…….I do want to go on the record as saying that even though I am overweight, I am healthy.  My blood pressure is good, cholesterol a smidge high, and blood sugars where they need to be….but when the day comes to a close,  I can say that I am unhappy with my body shape and size.

That brings me to this blog….January 1st decided that I was going to lose 55 pounds by the time I am 55 years old, which is September 24th.  So far I have gained 4 pounds 🙂 Perhaps it’s time to get serious about this! My beautiful daughter is getting married on September 21st, which is my moms birthday.  I am now going public with my top bucket list item…..and since I have readers throughout 28 countries, I will tell myself that the whole world is pulling for me.  I won’t share my weight, as I am not that nutso at this point, but I will faithfully give updates every Wednesday…good or bad.  I want to honor my daughter at her wedding, and also honor the memory of my mom on her birthday, hopefully 55 pounds lighter!  Then once I accomplish what will be the biggest hurdle of my life, I will start checking off more items on that bucket list.  Wish me luck ♥


Moms Wisdom


Often times as parents our words come back to haunt us.  Tonight we were in the check out line at the local Walmart, and as I tried to pull the diet Pepsi from the bottom of the cart to be scanned, I hit my knuckle on the cart and quite frankly….it hurt.  I am trying to wrestle this soda out of that stupid shelf on the cart,  the top of my hand is hurting, and I am trying not to curse and swear like the sailor my mouth can become.  All of the sudden I hear the sweet angelic voice of my 13 year old announce: “Hike your skirt up Nancy!”  The check out lady said “What did she just say?” and I repeated what that she had told me to hike my skirt up and quite complaining.  I figured she felt Maddie was disrespectful to me, but she just roared in laughter and told me she needed to remember that the next time her young co-worker started her constant complaining about her life.  I just looked at Maddie and shook my head, for these words were just coming back to bite me in the behind.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have told my kids to “hike up their skirts” or to “pull up their granny panties” because I just didn’t want to hear their complaining.

I have many favorites, and will not hesitate to pull them out when needed.  It started when my kids were toddlers, and would try to talk to me while whining.  There is nothing that grates on my nerves more than a whining child.  I would just look at them, and in a calm voice tell them to go away and come back when they could talk in a normal voice.  Most of the time it worked, because kids are smarter than we give them credit for.  My mom was the best at doling out words of wisdom, which I, of course, find my self repeating.  I always hated when she would try to pick my friends.  The Marilynism was: ” YOU ARE WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE SHELLY SUE!”  I actually had to stop being friends with another classmate when I was in junior high, at her insistence.  I didn’t understand her reasoning at the time, but now I do…..I would have gotten into a lot of trouble had we remained friends. When I began dating, she didn’t give me the S.E.X speech…shhhhhh….we didn’t talk about that…..but she did look me in the eye and said “Don’t do anything tonight that would cause  Jesus to be disappointed in you if he appeared at that moment.”  Wow…I didn’t even know where to go with that one….but it did keep my out of the back seats of  many cars.   Then there were the original quotes such as: “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” and ” Just because so and so has one, doesn’t mean you have to have one too!” and then to ever famous “Because I said so!”

My sister was a star basketball player in high school, and had  a bit of a temper.  She somehow managed to rack up  many technicals every basketball season.  Mom and Dad would sit in the bleachers with matching t-shirts that said ‘My kid is number 24″ and then cringe in horror as the ref blew the whistle, made the sign of the T, and pointed to Kelly.  Kelly would then head towards the ref….face and neck red from anger…and at this point my dad would stand up in the bleachers and yell “Pull your horns in Kelly Jo!”  I must point out that my dad was 6 foot 2 with a deep voice, so when he yelled, people listened.  Somehow this usually stopped my 6 foot sister in her tracks, and the coach was then able to step between her and the ref. ( I think for the safety of the ref )  I have used that line with my kids too.  When we would make a bad decision there wasn’t a lot of coddling….but we did hear “Well you sh## in your nest,  so you just need to sleep in it!”  What exactly does that mean anyway?   I guess the way I look at it, repeating the wisdoms of the generation before us is a way of honoring their good judgement.  Even if we don’t know exactly where our horns are, or where exactly the “nest” is. ♥

What’s a Typewriter?


 A few days ago, Madison was busy at the computer typing out a report for school.  The report had to fill the entire page, and could be double spaced.  She was about a paragraph short and debated changing the margin size to make the paper longer in appearance, even though it contained the same number of words.  Kate and Daryl were visiting for supper, and Daryl reminded her that it was possible that the teacher could have a guide that she could place over the page, and would know that the margins were wider than normal.  Apparently he had a teacher that would do that, and many kids failed the paper because they tried to “cheat”, so to speak.  So I sat and watched as she resumed writing the paper, adding sentences into existing paragraphs, while adding words here and there. Paragraphs were shortened here, made longer there, and words added or deleted as necessary.  She was doing the whole “copy and paste” thing in order to extend the paper, while making sure the paper make sense. The whole thing took about 20 minutes and zippooooooo she was done.

  I had to watch in awe, because this type of paper would have taken me 2 or 3 hours to type out when I was in high school.  My memory took me back to the 1970’s when I was a in high school, and was going to begin typing and accounting classes.  Women were encouraged to go into the secretarial field, so this was a “hot” class to take. The room was on the second floor and was huge, spanning the entire length of the front of the building.  One side was for accounting and the other side had an abundance of typewriters set up on desks, with an aisle between them.  We had the coolest teacher, Miss Bellott,  who seemed to be very close to our age, even though most of us were taller than her 🙂  She had this long dark shiny straight hair, and a laugh that was infectious.  We would all line up at our typewriters, and learn the fine art of typing without looking at your fingers.  If someone were to tell me that 40 some years later my fingers would be racing across the keyboard of my computer, I would have laughed like crazy.  Our typewriter at home was big, bulky and heavy, but we were so happy to have one to use.  You always had to make sure you had enough typing paper, carbon paper, and the pencil type correctors with a special eraser on one end and a small brush on the other end. You also prayed that the typewriter ribbon would not run out in the middle of the process.  There was no “white out” to use, and we didn’t have an electric typewriter at home that had a correction button to push.  To the well-trained teachers eye, they could tell when we used erasers instead of starting over.

  I cringe when I think about writing the big papers for English that encompassed a large percentage of your grade.  There could be no mistakes, and you really had to be careful all through the typing process. You had your draft off to the side to use as a guide while typing the paper, and if you were lucky you had one of the holders that held the paper up at eye level to make typing easier.  You had to manually set the tabs and margins before beginning the whole process, then you would insert your 2 pieces of typing paper with a piece of carbon paper sandwiched between.  I usually sat at the vanity in my room and did my typing, with the rock and roll music  from WLS.Chicago playing the background.  I was so pumped when I started because my drafts had been honed to perfection between the teachers input and my rewrites, so the typing could commence.  My enthusiasm soon wavered as I would get to the bottom of the page, make a mistake and have to start all over.  That heart wrenching moment when you would get to the bottom of the page, be exhausted from typing for hours and accidentally hit 2 keys at the same time.  You would slowly peek at the draft,  hoping with all your might that the correct key hit the page first.   There was absolutely no room for error, even though you would sit and look at that mistake and try to figure out how to fix it without starting over.   The argument in my head would then begin…..” Perhaps the teacher wouldn’t notice the mistake?  Maybe I could carefully erase and type over the wrong letter?  Forget it!  Just start over….you’ve gotten this far and now is not the time to get sloppy.”  How I would have loved to be able to cut and paste, move paragraphs, insert words, click on the online dictionary, hit spell check, go to an online template that I could  use to set up the page…..My goodness, sometimes change is good.  It does make me sad that my kids will never experience the humbling experience of typing an important term paper on such an archaic device as a typewriter.  They will never know that wonderful feeling when you have that final paper in your hand, completely typo free and as beautiful a work of art as the masterpieces in the Louvre ♥



About 2 pounds of hamburger

One medium onion, chopped

2 cans of Brooks Hot Chili beans (don’t drain)

1 can Light red kidney beans, drained

One large can tomato juice

Salt, pepper, and chili powder (use amount to your taste, my kids like spicy, so I use more chili powder)

Brown hamburger with onions, drain well

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer about an hour.  Sometimes I will throw it into the crock pot and let it cook for the afternoon on low.

Serve with warm corn bread or grilled cheese.

And remember, make plenty because it’s always better the next day 🙂

Everyone has their own chili recipes, so this is just another one to throw into the mix.