Does this Dress Make Me Look “Fat”?

Jane Ranzman Writer

Does this dress me look fat?  That voice inside my head barked…Only when I look in the mirror from the neck down. Stop it!  Okay, it’s always a battle, but stop yelling at me!

We’ve all been there. The steady creep…And then, Catastrophe! The scale reached a new decade that you don’t celebrate like a birthday. “How did it happen?” I asked as I hover over my desk, nibbling on a carrot stick.  After all, I’m starving! As pondered this problem, I realized there were some telltale signs along the way–

  • Your Girdle is Too Tight–  Somehow it won’t journey above my hips. “What happened?” I ask myself. My Spanks must have shrunk. It was that hot water…or cold. I wonder if I can fling this plastic tube across my bedroom. Perhaps it can be the new Frisbee.
  • Your Pet Glares You–   Between hurried spoonfuls, you look down to find your dog, a silent observer, giving you worse dirty looks than your grandmother. “Listen, you can’t have any.You’ve already eaten all the Chinese food.”
  • You Only Exist From The Neck Up– Any mirrors that contradict that reality are removed.
  • Cupcake Frosting Is A New Major Food Group– According to the U.S. Department of Health. I swear! 
  • Food diaries Don’t Have Enough SpaceTo record your cookie consumption. You don’t remember when you eat them anyway!
  • Your dog is your best friend– Because there is no alternative.
  • A date is a wizened fruit– That is too healthy to eat.
  • You now have clothes in 4 sizes– If only I could lose ten pounds through a cleanse like like the Girl Scout  chocolate mint cookie diet (it’s such a good cause,) or go to Weight Watchers and only eat the snacks.

Here’s the good news. My dog will  love me unconditionally because I feed her. I certainly don’t have to feel bad about myself.  After all, I feed me. Change doesn’t have to be radical. It can be more like a “shift.” I just read an article about the Japanese “Kaizen” method that asserts making small, incremental improvements are the route to positive, long-lasting results.

So, I really only had to write one word of this blog post. I only have to eliminate one cookie today. That still leaves me with two. Hah! I’ll inform my dog she’s going out for a walk. No more sitting around watching “Lassie.” I can do that. And even if I don’t, for today, I’m okay.  


Welcome Back Wayward Writer!

Don't wake my Dog!
Don’t wake my Dog!

I’ve been gone for a while.  That’s because I have been writing my upcoming novel, “My Slip Was Pink.”  Thank goodness it was a cold winter.  That justifies my agoraphobia.  Generally, I find quaint, weird places outside of my apartment to write.  Due to the frigid temperatures, I curled up in my bed with my Mac Air, dog, and bag of Doritos.  Ugh!  So, now I need a support group for fellow writers who are blinded by the light of day.  And a weight loss clinic.  How did you spend the winter?  I would like to know.



The Poodle Girl Diet

At 8am the next morning I call Dr. G my internist.  I speak with his assistant Shirley.

“Hi, Dorothy, It’s Pink Slip.  It’s an emergency I must wee the doctor today.”

“What is it—H1N1?”  she sounded concerned.

“No.  I can’t tell you.  It’s personal.  But believe me, it’s important.”  I pretend to cough.

“Listen Pink Slip.  He’s really busy, but I”ll squeeze you in.  Can you be here in one hour?

“Great.  Thanks so much” I say in my best hoarse voice.

I squeeze on my jeans  and run to the bus. I consider this to be my first day of excercise. 

Within 45 minutes I arrive at Dr. G’s office.

“HI  Ms. Pink Slip.   How are you today?”   Dorothy is a prim looking woman with large black glasses, who always appears dwarfed by the voluminous papers on her desk.  “You can go into the examining room.”

Thanks.”  I hang up my coat and cough.

Dr. G appears looking weary and harried.  He’s a studious looking man in a white coat and bow tie with thinning silver hair and wire framed glasses.

“So?”  He sits down across from me and crosses his legs.  He pulls out a pad and is ready to take notes.

“Well, come to think of it, I could use some happy pills.”

“I can prescribe an allergy pill.  What else?”

“I’m having bad dreams.”

“Just don’t go to sleep” he yawns.  “Trying to get out of something?  Jury duty?

“Actually, this is my problem.  I’m fat.  I’m just not getting picked up at the Harvard Club bar these days by loaded octogenarians.” I start to weep and he hands me a wrinkled tissue.  Probably from his last flu victim.

“Tell me what you eat in a typical day.  Like yesterday.”

“Well, I skipped breakfast.  Had a fudgy cupcake for lunch.  And, let’s see.  A margarita, a corn chips, and a half of a beef burrito for dinner at Tia Mia.” ( An incomlete inventory.  I know I ate the whole burrito.  My shame would allow me to confess just so much.”

“Sour cream?”

“Yeah, but on the burrito.”  I  smirk.    I didn’t tell him about the chocolate chocolate chip ice cream I ate in secret—even hiding it from Solace bear.

“That cupcake thing is juvenile.  That’s a child’s palette.”  We both pause and think.

“Let me calculate your Body Mass Index.”  He pulls out a Blackberry, flips open a manila folder, and makes some focused calculations.  “Hmmm, there is indeed a problem. “

I start to wail like I just lost my best friend.

“This is my suggested food plan.  Ok, (he looks like he’s delivering military secrets).  For breakfast, one apple and a sliver of cheese.”

“What kind?” I feel concerned.  That’s a change in diet for me.  I’m used to donuts and cupcakes for breakfast.

“I’m flexible. Gouda and Jarlsberg are fine.”

“What about lunch.  I’m beginning to feel hungry.”

He glares at me, “No lunch.  That’s a strict rule.”

“Oh please.  That can’t be so.  I’ll starve.”

He grins.  “You’ll burn body fat.  I do it every day.  Too busy to eat.  I told the girls in the office to do it and they cried.”

My stomach starts to growl.  “I’m already hungry.  This won’t work.”

“You’ll get used to it.”

“Dinner?  I ask weakly.

“You know how to chop salad?”

“No.”  For me icing is a vegetable.

“You’ll learn.  Every night you chop lettuce.  You like blue cheese?

“Yeah.  But with a porterhouse steak.”

“You put 2 ounces cheese in the salad.  Throw in another apple.  And that’s dinner.  The weight will melt away.” he punches his stomach.

“Wow.  And what about exercise? ” I’m getting more disheartened.

“I don’t believe in it.  I’m too busy to go the gym.”

“Oh, and every once in a while, throw in a really low calorie dinner” he shakes his pen.

“Lower than lettuce?”

“That’s right.  One cup Cheerios and milk.  That’ll keep you on track.  Anything else?

“That’s not enough food for an upper east side NYC poodle!”   That’s what I’ll call it.  “The Poodle Girl Diet.”

We’re Fat!

I’m experiencing the January blahs…sitting in my apartment amidst the Mallamar wrappers and discarded boxes.  Perhaps you can relate.  It’s Thursday at around 8:00PM.  I’m lonely.   I should be out having drinks. But here I am watching Grey’s Anatomy and eating Twizzlers with my bear Solace.  There’s something wrong with this picture.  I call my best friend Rita, who lives in my apartment building.

“Rita, we’re fat,”  I cry sinking into my bed.

“You just discovered that?”  she laughs.  I hear her toy poodle Gucci barking in the background.  ”  That mutt is the only one of us in this family who doesn’t have a weight problem!”  I hear a sucking noise.  “Oh, excuse me.  I didn’t mean to interupt your menage a trois.”

“You’ve got it!”  I’m indisposed.  With Ben and Jerry!”

“I’ve dated them.    Expecially Chubby Hubby.”  I turn on the remote to watch American Idol.”

“Yeah, it’s smooth, but reliable.”  Rita is a pretty blonde who looks like a plus-sized Chistina Applegate.  A clinical psycholgist, she’s highly analytical and is prone to long explanations of things.  Resigned to single life at 43, she adopted the toy poodle we dubbed Gucci after our favorite bags.

“Diet” I declare.  That’s we have to do.  Including the poodle.

“Listen PinkSlip.  Diet is a four letter work. Nite!”

I think of the Gone With The Wind.”  Scarlett O Hara was determined to succeed despite overwhelming obstables.  What did she say?  “I’ll never go hungry again!”

Well, that’s not going in the right direction, but she did eat turnips for a while and looked mighty trim when she visited Rhett Butler in that green curtain.