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A little romance, a few laughs. It's all good.


Recently on Instagram, Khloe Kardashian posted the following—

2 Things a Girl Wants: 1) Lose Weight. 2) Eat.

No matter what you think of this post, we women have a strange relationship with food and our weight. How many times have you heard adult, successful women say, “I was bad. I ate Insert Item Here.” We revert to children and make moral judgments on what we eat and how much we weigh.

I’m no different. I’ve been recalling a lot of memories involving my weight. Some memories are painful and cruel, others are rather comical. So, in no particular order, here are some memories that have befallen me, a lifelong fat girl.

In 6thgrade, our gym teacher decides to weigh each and every one of us. What made the event even more humiliating was his having our classmates assist him. As each of us stepped on the scale, Mr. B would read the weight and call it out for one of our peers to record. That was bad enough, but Mr. B’s voice carried. After the gym period, I was accosted by one of the class beauties. Freya’s family was from Germany. She was a golden blonde, very tall for her age, with blue eyes and an athletic build. If she had been born fifty years earlier, the Third Reich would have recruited her for their Lebensborn program. Her expression was one of astonishment. “You weigh 127 lbs? That’s what I weigh.” How could that be? was the unspoken question. Mr. B probably thought he was shaming us fatties, but he unintentionally horrified one of his pets.

In my late twenties, I had lost a lot of weight. I thought it would change my life, but it didn’t. I was still me. Eventually I couldn’t handle the pressure to keep it off and gained it all back. A psychic fair came to town. I was given the best reading for the reason I was fat. No sad stories about how in a previous life I had been molested or had watched my brother kill someone just to see them die. My reason for being fat was quite original. Turns out in a previous life, I was a powerful and prominent king. Now in this life, as an ordinary person, I eat to make myself as big and as noticeable as possible. It was the greatest explanation ever. I thought this psychic was brilliant. No chastisement for weakness, no sad story. Just the latent desires of an emperor.

And you know how lots of heavy people blame their hormones? Well, I can legitimately do that now! Due to an autoimmune disease, my thyroid went off the rails, producing too much thyroid hormone and eventually, it had to be irradiated. Now I have to take thyroid medication. So, I can say, it’s not me it’s my metabolism!

Actually, when I learned I had the condition (called Grave’s Disease), I asked my doctor, “Hey, if I have this, how come I’m fat?”

“Because you eat too much,” came his placid reply.

Ask a stupid question…


I’ve had a lot of different types of bosses. There was Merry, the perfect boss. So calm, analytical, and logical. No professional or personal crisis ever seemed to faze her. Not so with Reg. He was the worst kind of micromanager. He’d ask me to check on whether something had been done or a decision made in Home Office. While I worked on the problem, he’d make a circuit of the office (a five minute walk) and every time he’d pass my cubicle, he’d ask, “Do you have an answer yet? Then I’d learn that he not only asked my co-worker to check too, but he’d also harassed someone at the Home Office for the answer as well. There was Shelly who was so anal, she instructed us on the best way to clean the walls of scuffs (you take a damp sponge and stroke vertically over the scuff three times before stroking horizontally for another three, and repeating until clean. You’re welcome). Then there was Jean who used his 6’ 3” height to spy on us from over our cubicles. One time I was engrossed in composing a long, complicated email when I felt a presence behind me. I surreptitiously tilted my head and saw Jean out of the corner of my eye, sitting at an empty chair behind my desk. There was nothing I could do to warn the internet surfing co-worker next to me.

But now I’m working for my toughest boss of all. You could say she is The Mother of All Bosses.

Don’t get me wrong. Samantha is a admirable woman. She started her successful business all by herself. She is smart and resourceful. But Samantha is old enough to be my mother. I’m old enough to be a mother as well as a grandmother. Hence the difficulty. When she has a problem with something I do, she goes into “mother mode.”

My computer goes to sleep after twenty minutes. Hence, I missed an IM from a co-worker. “You really need to make sure it’s always up,” I’m told. “You didn’t respond to Roger’s message.”

“You need to hand in your timesheet on Fridays. Chris needs it every Friday. Why didn’t you?” She speaks as though I am too ignorant or uncaring to learn the procedure, that I intended to cause a problem. In reality, I forgot. Big difference.

The most annoying thing happened a couple of weeks ago. I am in charge of opening the mail then date stamping and logging each piece in the computer. Samantha came to me and held out a letter with a date stamp from the previous day. She asked, “Do you notice anything?”

I took the letter from her and studied it. The date I stamped was correct. There wasn’t a check attached, so I couldn’t have missed entering an amount in the daily log. I was starting to feel warm from nerves when I finally noticed it. The letter was addressed to a company across the street. The mail carrier had delivered it to our office by accident and I didn’t notice the error. I told her the mistake and she replied in a disappointed voice, “It’s a good thing Trina caught it.”

I stood and announced I’d deliver it to the right company. The receptionist there was unperturbed—“Oh that happens all the time.” As I walked back, I became more and more annoyed. Why couldn’t Samantha just tell me that I opened the wrong piece of mail and to be more careful? How did having me analyze the letter help? We all make mistakes, right? That’s when I realized she is a mothering kind of boss.

I have a mother. A mother who asks me questions that I’ve answered many times over the years. She says she still asks these same old questions to ensure that I know these things. I’ve accepted this in her years ago. Because she’s my mother. But I don’t need another one. If I screw up, tell me. I’m not learning a new computer language or have been assigned a protocol to follow when working with the ebola virus. What we do at your business will not destroy the world. I made a stupid, ordinary mistake. No one was killed or maimed or lost their health insurance. Your lesson won’t make me more diligent about ensuring the mail is directed to the right place. I can do that all alone with the simple words, “Here’s the problem. Please make sure it doesn’t happen again.”


The picture on the television screen was nauseating. A house had not only mouse droppings, but also dead mice, littering on the floors. Thick dust coated cardboard boxes, trash bags and newspapers that were disbursed liberally throughout the home. As usual, I gagged a few times. The program has always served as a warning to me.

But while viewing this particular episode, I realized something. I too have a hoarding compulsion. Not a littered lifestyle from being too busy or lazy to pick up my shoes or fold the afghan on the couch. No, my compulsion is specific. It is collecting “how-to” books.

I don’t know when it started. Probably in my teens. I got a subscription to Teenmagazine and I loved looking at it, especially the pretty clothes and the short story they featured each month. But I really liked the makeup and diet tips. So, the magazines got saved. Then, as I was always overweight, I collected diet books like The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet. After joining Weight Watchers, I bought a number of their cookbooks.

But my self-improvement desire didn’t end with diet books. I’ve bought a book on eating like a French woman as well as one on dressing like a French woman. Then there were books on how to win friends, be more assertive, more extroverted, and ten percent happier. I’ve been privy to the Secret and learned the five languages of love. I’ve tried to awaken the Giant within, secure Grit, and learned life lessons with Mitch and Morrie. Then there were the dozens of books on writing I have. Some focused on character development, others detailed point of view or plot.

The sad part? I have hardly read any of them. I start (most of) them and never get very far. Could it be because I don’t want happiness? Perhaps I’m psychic and can tell after reading a few pages that the tome is bunk or it won’t work for me? Am I lazy? Well, I think I established above that I often am. But I don’t think that’s the reason. Maybe in some twisted way, by not reading and following through, I can feel okay if I don’t get anywhere. After all, I can be lazy. But I’ve always longed to be a renaissance woman: writer, artist, musician, fencer, gourmet cook, krav maga expert, salon host of lively, intelligent discussions. If I read and actually tried the suggestions then the failure is the fault of something a lot more serious than laziness or busy-ness. It would be that there is something inherently wrong with me. I am the failure.

So, what am I going to do? I don’t know. Am I brave enough to take the chance? I’m not sure. I do know I have been eyeing a workbook from L.R. Ryan. It’s gotten a lot of good reviews. Maybe this will be the one…

At any rate, I could always use it as a door stopper.

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