Friday, September 22, 2006

Weight, BMI and Resolutions

So, for a woman of my height, in order for me to model in Spain, I would have to tip the scale at a whopping 112 lbs; that is enough to get to me to a BMI of 18... the article states, that most of the models, are, in fact, between 14 and 16 on the BMI scale. Ok, so in real terms, that means that they weigh between 87 and 99 lbs. When you think about it in the actual weight, I guess it makes sense to think that someone who weighs 112 lbs is slightly more healthy than someone who weighs 87-99 lbs. I guess those women might not collapse on the runway...afterall, it does seem that it was the death of one of the models on the runway that made these folks react. Surely, there were models dying off the runway from complications of starvation.

However, the calculator that I used to make these comparisons states that my ideal weight is between 117-143 lbs. I hate to disagree with whomever made up this ideal weight, but honestly, 117 is just unrealistically low; even according to the calculator, someone of my height would have to get all the way to 124 lbs in order to be "healthy."

Also, that upper range of ideal weight is also misleading. According to the calculator, I can get all the way to 155 before I am "slightly overweight." So, why list 117-143 as my ideal weight? No wonder we all have messed up body image issues!! (Each one of the calculator links is a different BMI calculator on the internet.)

So, why do I care about all this?? Well, of course, like everyone else in the US, I am overweight... not morbidly obese...for that I would have to tip the scales at 185 lbs (I have been there before, it's not comfortable). Just yesterday, I decided to take control of my weight by making a plan... here it is:

I want to exercise regularly (I just finished my second half marathon). Starting October 1st, I will be back to running after giving my body a well-deserved two weeks off. I am back to walking as much as possible, three miles today, one mile yesterday...more tomorrow. With the fabulous tools available on, you can calculate the miles run or walked and how many calories you have burned according to your age, weight and pace.

I plan to do yoga as much as I can, with a goal of three times per week, starting next week. What else? I plan to eat well. With all of these goals in mind, I walked to the farmer's market today to buy some fresh fruit and veggies.

What will I not do?? Starve myself... breakfast is my new best friend; usually oatmeal, but also my favorite pancake mix. Check out these great products. It's great to find good-for-you food that tastes great as well. In case you are wondering, eating better to me means getting my daily recommended 23-25 grams of fiber per day. When I can get that much fiber, it usually means I can eat just about anything else I want to eat (ok, not a whole box of donuts, but one donut for sure).

Ok...happy eating and exercising.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

the demise of women's colleges?

Though I did not choose (or even consider) attending a single-sex college, the death of yet another one is sad. The thing is, I had a choice... if the trend continues, women will not have the choice.

Watching my sister's progress through the women's college she chose to attend, the value of having a choice became clear. It is not to say that my sis would not have thrived in a coed environment. I am sure she would have kicked ass and taken names just about anywhere she decided to go. The point is, she CHOSE to go to a single-sex college.

I never really understood her decision. I am not sure if there was a particular reason that pushed her towards the choice. All I know is that she only wanted to apply to single-sex institutions.

Whatever the reason, the results are undeniable. It was amazing to watch the changes in her over a very short amount of time. Maybe the changes would have come as easily at a coed institution. Maybe not. But, in any case, I would hate to think that in 20 years, there were only coed colleges and the lovely daughters just born this year to my dear friends would not have the chance to experience a women's college if they wanted to do so.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The pencil is behind your ear, or, No, I don't have your phone

Chilling after the luau, trying to take pictures with a potential beau, a friend (let's call her Paquita) was accosted by a short white woman (let's call her Crack-er Head) . One of you took my phone, she accused. Ok, honestly, when she walked up to Paquita and her beau-to-be (lets call him Sam), the camera was about to be snapped.

So, everyone is all smiles and not sure we just heard the drunken accusation that has been thrown. We sat there trying to figure out the joke. But the bitch was serious. My friend's sister (let's call her Lisa) countered, We don't even know you.

But the Crack-er Head was determined to find her phone; you know, the one she thought Paquita and Sam were hiding. She made Paquita and Sam get up and move out of the way, so she could look where they were sitting. We were all still watching her, amazed that anyone could be this sloshed and ridiculous. What was this girl's trip? She must have downed MANY mai-tai's at the luau.

How did Crack-er Head decide that we were the offensive crew who had conspired to steal her cell phone? I guess we will never know the answer to that question. But, it could be that we were the only people there. Or it could be that we were the only people of color in the vicinity. Both of those statements are actually true.

Cracker-er Head was furiously dialing someone else's cell phone to make her phone ring. I hear it ringing.

Not finding the phone underneath Paquita and Sam, she decided her phone was in Paquita's bag. One of the guys who was with Sam suggested that maybe it had fallen into the bushes. She was not convinced, but she took a look anyway. In any case, our offensive crew was half compliant, half incredulous: Paquita and Sam not only moving out of the way, but actually helping Crack-er Head look through the bushes. Sam's friends were torn between watching the spectacle and helping find the missing phone. Lisa and I were watching and laughing.

She just kept saying that she could hear it ringing. Bending over the bushes, looking for the phone, her boyfriend realized that the phone was in Crack-er Head's back pocket.

He looked embarrassed; but she was still pissed, somehow we had caused this problem by slipping that damn phone into her back pocket. She did not excuse herself, apologize or thank us for the trouble. She just marched off, indignant and annoyed, phone in hand.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Not sure how to understand how Bush's 9/11 primetime message could NOT be political. Then I listened in to his message and confirmed not only his inability to not make political hay out of such a tragedy, but also his determination to make 9/11 about IRAQ.

Disgust doesn't begin to cover my reaction. I watch/listen in because I want to have a right to complain afterwards; but, honestly, I knew he would take the opportunity to aggrandize himself and the hapless war he created. But, these folks are not my plants, I swear. It turns out I was not the only one who thought he was being self-serving and insincere. Then again, when don't I feel that way?

9/11 offered our nation the opportunity, after mourning, to step back and take stock of our image to the rest of the world. Our image, the one we created with our deeds as well as our words, is the reflection people in other nations see. It is not the figment of Osama bin Laden's imagination or any other would-be or actual terrorist. We continue to give these guys fodder for their extremism.

The people who died in the towers, PA and the Pentagon that day were, in fact, just going to work. They had not provoked the attack. But as a nation, we did provoke the attack; and we continue to poke sticks in the eyes of many people who see our tarnished image as crass exploiters through our power-grabbing political antics around the world.

I mean no disrespect to the families of those who lost loved-ones. We are in this together, but they have suffered much more than we can imagine. It has been long enough, though, since the attacks to begin to unravel how we, individual citizens, are complicit with that image if we are unwilling to let our "leaders" know that we will not allow them to do these things in our names.

Step back, America, and ask yourself: what am I getting from the fruits of the multi-national's labors?

Nothing of value as far as I can see.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Must Wear Long Socks (white) with Sandals

Oh, the perils of internet dating: everything you see reminds you of what you DON'T want in a partner, and simultaneously, you make headlines out of the most ridiculous observations.

While visiting with old friends and colleagues this week in New Jersey, conversation over drinks turned to dating.

A little back story: there were three of us bar-hopping (yes, you can do that in Princeton now as there is more than ONE bar!) Friday evening. All three of us have been married and divorced. We were all long married; I log in the least amount of years in the relationship at nearly 9. We differ though in that one is remarried (not me) and one is more recently divorced, within the last two years (also not me). None of us, however, has had much experience in the divorced dating scene.

So, I relate my fear and loathing of and internet dating in general. I think it's creepy. I will just admit it. I know, I know, there are many wonderful people who have met through match or some other fine online dating service and now are happily partnered. I am sorry. It still creeps me out. Every once in a while I am cajoled into taking a peek, and have even been on one disastrous date. But, for me, it is just not the thing.

I am disturbed by the utter lack of frankness displayed on these sites. I would much rather that you say plainly that you think you can get more sex with more partners this way. I am sick of reading about wanting to find a friend and soulmate, only to scroll down to the "my date" and notice that this friend/soulmate must be blond, tall and slender.

Then we can talk about how the men on these sites are convinced that their body types, however they may appear in the mirror every morning, are SLENDER or ATHLETIC/TONED. When you can see the gut in the best picture you could find to post, that isn't even ABOUT AVERAGE. I don't want to talk about the height thing. I can't take anymore of it.

My friend was saying how she had started using an internet site that is like a virtual parents without partners. Sounds like good, clean fun, right? I mean, yes, hook-up central for sure, but maybe slightly less creepy. She related good-naturedly that one man she had been emailing/chatting with seemed really nice and she was thinking about meeting up with him for a drink or dinner. Another mutual friend, ex-coworker of mine, had been talking about a man she met on this same site. The more my friend heard, the more she became convinced they were chatting up the same guy. This is where we differ... I was creeped out. What a jerk, I thought to myself: two-timing before they are even actually seeing each other. She was much more level-headed about the situation. Her take was this way they could all three meet up for drinks somewhere. It would be safer to meet this stranger with someone else instead of by herself. They could work out the dating arrangements later depending on who felt there was chemistry.

By the end of the evening, we had given up drinks and bar food for Thomas Sweets. And we laughed as we watched the other folks who had gathered to listen to live music outside the ice cream shop. There is my man right there, my friend asserted.

Which one?

The one with the socks and sandals. I have to remember to post that on my ad, she said. Must wear long socks with sandals. White Socks!