I Only Like to Look at Beautiful Things

June 30, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 12:58 pm   Category: Life

I once had a next door neighbor who was quite a colorful woman, and that’s putting it nicely. She was in her eighties and still going strong due to her daily health regimen. She would walk every where she went and wouldn’t eat any foods that had sugar in them. Actually, she only ate sugar-free pumpkin pie, a recipe she had developed herself, and her skin was an alarming orange color as a result. She had many other bizarre habits and quirks but it would take me all day to write about them.

One day as she was returning from her walk she spotted me in my yard and came up to have a chat. In the course of our conversation she made a statement that I found quite amusing, she said, “Boy everyone is sure getting fat these days. It’s really awful, I just don’t like it. I don’t like to look at them because I only like to look at beautiful things.” I inwardly chuckled and thought to myself, not me lady, the uglier the better. Don’t bring any beautiful things my way. It was a conversation I’ll not soon forget.

Now here I am about a year after the birth of my last child and struggling to lose the last of the baby weight. I’m really trying to eat better, but chocolate calls to me like the sirens singing to Ulysses and sometimes when I pass by the bakery section I can hear the baked goods whispering, “Resistance is futile.” I have come to the conclusion that in order to combat my occasional (ok, frequent) indulgences I will have to start an exercise program, yikes!

I have a good friend who just had a baby and is also trying to lose some baby weight so we made a pact that we would start exercising and lose the extra weight together. She is much more motivated than I am so this will be a good thing for me.

Ok, first morning we are supposed to be going to aerobics at 7:30 am. My alarm clock wakes me up and I think, there is no way in heck I am getting up right now to go shake my fanny at the free aerobics class being held at the church. I call up my friend and using the sickest sounding voice I can conjure I say, “I had a really horrible night last night and I don’t think I can make it.”
“Oh fine!” I reply in a perfectly normal voice and hang up the phone.

I am at my first aerobics class since college and there is not one well-toned, childless woman in sight. I am reminded of my neighbor’s desire to look only at beautiful things and realize she would not be happy here. I’m ok though, in fact I’m feeling a little bit better about myself now. Some of us are wearing shorts and large t-shirts while others are wearing tight spandex leggings (don’t try to picture it just keep reading) and t-shirts that are not large enough. One lady has the funkiest bed-head I’ve seen in a long time. There are also lots of children running around in princess or power ranger pjs.

The class gets started and I say a quick prayer that I will not make a huge fool of myself, going up when everyone else is going down, or left when I’m supposed to be going right. After a few minutes I realize I’m fine and I try to make the most of my work out. It’s going to be a long road back to pre-pregnancy weight but I intend to get there one grapevine at a time.

Help me out, what are techniques you use to stay motivated when exercising and eating right?


  1. I gained 45 pounds with the birth of my first child, and she was adopted! I gained another 30 with the birth of my second, he came the old fashioned way, my wife said that I had to lose some of it sometime.

    We are working currently on the South Beach Diet, which is strangly similar to the Word of Wisdom and just walking together. I have also found that the phrase, “it is not good for man to be alone” is especially true in this case.

    One of the nice things about this plan is that occasionally it is okay to have chocolate, just not my usual 1/2 pound bag of peanut M&M’s,(I justified them by saying the peanuts had protein)

    I worked in an ER for a long time and the Orange People are actually a fairly common occurance around Thanksgiving. I had one lady who thought her liver had failed and it was actually just too much pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes.

    Good Luck and know there are more of us out there working on perfection than have actually achieved it.

    Comment by Casey Blau — June 30, 2005 @ 1:37 pm

  2. Last year I lost a lot of weight and got much healthier and more active. What really motivated me was feeling better about my health. I did have to cut out all junk food and sugar myself (I have too strong of a weakness for sugar and it is rotten for me). But what really helped was finding activities I love. I LOVE to run. Now that is not everyone’s thing, but for me it is a high, an accomplishment. So I became a runner. Working with weight has helped too because becoming stronger and seeing my body shape change as muscles form correctly has been really inspring. Yoga also helps me.

    The key really is to find something you will enjoy and to set goals, reasonable ones. Not “I will lose 30 lbs in 2 months”, but a goal for what you would like to fit into, or where you want to go with some form of exercise. Plan your week out and make it a priority. Eventually it will become habit and something you just can’t “NOT” do. It’s something you do and becomes a part of your life. Joining a gym was good for me too because if I am paying almost 50$ a month (that includes childcare at the gym) than I am not going to slack off :). I also continue to tell myself I am worth the effort. Trust me, how you feel after awhile, is inspiring in and of itself.

    There are lots of activities out there, you don’t have to stick to one thing. Some people love pilates, others like bellydancing, walking, running, swimming, biking…you name it you will find something out there.

    Good Luck!!

    Comment by Mary Siever — June 30, 2005 @ 2:06 pm

  3. I am the bane of my wife’s eating habits. I usually eat anything I feel like (and don’t see any effects). With all the crap-food I bring into the house she curses my name every time I make food/eat dessert. What am I supposed to do, eat healthy? I don’t think so.

    Comment by Rusty — June 30, 2005 @ 2:45 pm

  4. Alright Casey, who has the sense of humor now? I’ve been dabbling with the South Beach Diet myself. They have these chocolate chip cookies that I’ve been buying but you have to eat them with the right attitude. You can’t say, “I’m eating a chocolate chip cookie.” You have to say, “I’m eating a hard, crunchy, round thing that’s a little bit sweet with an occasional piece of chocolate in it.” Then you’ll be ok.

    Also, do you think I could make millions marketting the “Sugar-free Pumpkin Pie Diet”? The benefits would be skinniness and orange skin which would eliminate any need to lay out in the sun or go to a tanning booth. Most of those Hollywood types look orange to me anyway.

    Mary, thanks for the advice and inspiration. I ran a lot between my last two babies and loved it. I guess I stopped when I got pregnant and decided not only was I eating for two I was also lounging for two. My biggest issue is getting started and sticking with an exercise program until I start to enjoy it.

    Oh Rusty, Rusty, Rusty. You sound like my kind of guy! Let’s just hope this fast metabolism lasts for you, it did for Geoff’s 90 year old grandpa.

    Comment by Kristen J — June 30, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

  5. The SFPP diet sounds like a winner, I think it would go over great in Hollywood except for Tom Cruise who probably would say that we didn’t know the history of dieting.

    Comment by Casey Blau — June 30, 2005 @ 5:59 pm

  6. I’m sorry but Tom Cruise wouldn’t be allowed to participate in my diet because he is much too short and goofy looking and as you know, I Only Like to Look at Beautiful Things!

    Comment by Kristen J — June 30, 2005 @ 8:05 pm

  7. I found simply cutting things out from my diet was the most beneficial. I don’t drink soda, I don’t eat ice cream, and I don’t eat pizza. Anything deep fried I kept away from. And then I walked a hour a day. I lost 85lbs in about 9 months. I usually kept my calories to about 2000 a day. Write down everything you eat and add up your calories, it is the biggest eye-opener I ever had. (It seems like such a simple thing, people never do it, but trust me, you will gain a perspective that motivates you more than anything else.)

    Comment by Dallas Robbins — July 1, 2005 @ 6:09 am

  8. Little old ladies are allowed their silliness, I hope, because that’s probably the only fun I’ll have as an old lady.

    We have a little old lady in our ward who raises miniature horses and reads Tarot cards. I’m going to have her do a psychic reading on me, I’m continually trying to contact my sons.

    I noticed when we were in Vancouver that there are a lot of skinny healthy older people who walk all over.

    I personally hate exercise, but all my friends love to get out there. I “saunter” with a friend, who lowers herself to walk with me twice a week. The rest of the time, she races out there.

    Comment by annegb — July 1, 2005 @ 6:21 am

  9. When you get a hold of your sons let me know, I would be interested in thier view of what is over there. I have a brother in law on the other side I have questions for.

    A good saunter is good for the soul it lets you see the things that the racers miss. The Dr’s that I worked with before I lost my hearing told me that it was not the speed of the exercise but the length of it 20 minutes of walking did as much good as 20 minutes of running. Fewer calories burned but the cardiac value was equal.

    Dallas – I saw a photo-book that a man did that was all the food he ate for a year, that was an eye opener. If I did it, it would have to be in quarterly volumes. See this spring as Casey eats his way through his garden and the entire Dolly Madison collection.

    Comment by Casey Blau — July 1, 2005 @ 9:49 am

  10. annegb,I really hope old ladies are allowed their silliness too. I plan on wearing the funkiest clothes when I’m old, you know sequins, beads, anything shiny. I’ve decided if any of my descendants have a problem with it I’ll give $50 and tell them to be on their way.

    Dallas, I’m too scared to write down what they eat. You know how you always hear stuff like, Americans eat 5 pounds of sugar a year? When they look at me they’ll say, “Oh except for this lady, she eats 25 pounds a year!” I’m sure it would be an eye opener for sure if I did it though.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 1, 2005 @ 10:11 am

  11. On the lighter side, I was walking with my son this weekend and he told me he saw a man that was “even fatter than you daddy.” If that isn’t a wake up call for the need to lose weight I don’t know what is. Still working the South Beach. Hope Aerobics are going well.

    Comment by Casey B — July 6, 2005 @ 2:05 pm