June 10, 2008

In Which I Gain At Least Ten Pounds Worth of Mental Illness

There is a contest going on one entry below this. Scroll down if you wish to enter. It’s only been up a day, and already I have learned TWO vitally important things about how to run contests in the future:

1) I should have limited the number of entries per person.

I was thinking some folks might want to take a run at all getting all five right. I DID not think that SO VERY MANY OF YOU could parse this thing so thoroughly that you could FIND upwards of TWENTY ways the cartoon differs from my real life. I underestimated your creativity, your work ethic, and your crazed devotion to princess-smooth heels. I apologize!

HOWEVER! I am retroactively saying NOW that you cannot enter more than 27 times. SO that means the TOP ENTERER’s 27 entries are ALL VALID, but dear Lord, there we cap it, okay?

For the record, in case the convoluted rules did not make this clear, there will be four drawings. Your name only gets entered in EACH drawing that you qualify for ONE TIME, no matter how many entries you put in. SO, assuming you got the number one reason correct (and most of you did, HUZZAH, well done!) the 27 entry person and the folks who entered once or five or ten times…all these people have the same chance.

2) I should have EXPLICITLY put in a rule in that said, “Please do not enter this contest by pointing out that I am SO hella fatter than that stick figure. Even though it is true. I AM hella fatter than that stick figure and BY THE WAY? SO’S YER MAMA.”

OH! SCUSE ME! Best Beloveds, I am heartily ashamed and sorry to have YER MAMA'd you. I KNOW you aren’t being mean. Really, I do. EVERYONE is fatter than a stick figure (except Kate Moss) and your mother is a LOVELY woman. I do not know what got into me.

Oh wait, yes I do.

It is this: I just experienced a HUGE (and by “huge” I mean “imaginary and mental illness fueled”) set back on the Weight Watcher’s front, and I am REELING (And by “reeling” I mean “hypersensitive and loony”) from it. Andyou know I have about four molecules worth of REASON buried deep in the grey writhing mass of neuroses I keep in my skull.

My friend Kira blogged today that she has to go to the doctor to get her virulent brain monkeys diagnosed and treated. ( BY THE WAY! The virulent brain monkeys? They seem to be catching. I know because I CLEARLY HAVE THEM NOW. Thanks, KIRA.) Of course she is unhappy because virulent brain monkeys are probably fatal, but more importantly, she THINKS she has to stand on her doctor’s scale.

Two days ago, I would have said, “KIRA! DO NOT DO IT! Come to my house instead.
You MUST come, because I own the One True Scale, and it tells people their only and actual weight, the end, forever and ever, amen.”

But that was two days ago, before THE TERRIBLE TRUTH-JEANS TRAGEDY.

Even now, in the trembling ruins of my moment in the TRUTH JEANS, I personally would have to be kidnapped, drugged and hog-tied before you could place me on a scale at a DOCTOR’s office. The nurse at my OBGYN’s used to TRY to make me get on hers, but since she didn’t have a BAZOOKA with her during any of these attempts, I simply balked.

ONE TIME she tried to get gentle-but-firm with me, and I fell to the earth, rolled my eyes, foamed wildly at the mouth and screamed, YOUR SCALE IS A LIAR AND IT SITS UPON A THRONE OF LIES!

That pretty much nipped gentle-but-firm before it budded. Now no one in the whole office would EVER ask me to mount that LYING LIAR and be LIED TO. After that, they began to sensibly ASK me my weight, and I would tell them the latest RIGHTEOUS PRONOUNCEMENT OF THE ONE TRUE SCALE, and There. Endeth-ed. The. Weighing.

But now, the One True Scale has been DEBUNKED as a LYING LIAR, too, and I am distraught.

Here is what happened: In the three weeks since I have joined WW, I have lost five pounds. Now, I believe this to be so. I can feel a difference in the way my usual clothes hang and whatnot. BUT! Before I started, The One True Scale gave me a NUMBER, and I decided I wanted to weigh about 10 - 12 pounds LESS than that number. Reasonable, yes?

Digression: YES, I realize this story would be easier to follow if I just SAID the number that the One True Scale gave me. Then I could say, “The One True Scale said I weighed ___, and I want to weigh ___.” That would be SO much less unwieldy and less obscure and less convoluted and less shrouded in utterly pointless mystery, if I just said the number. SO! I will. I WILL! I will say the number. Just as soon as you hypnotize me and inject me with sodium pentothal and tie me down in a dank room with a tiny, snaggle-toothed man with PLIERS and a CRUEL BLACK HEART and ask him to extract teeth until I give up that information. End Digression.

SO I SHOULD be almost HALFWAY to the magic number I want. If I wanted to lose 10 – 12, and I lost 5 , even an ENGLISH MAJOR like me knows I only have 5 – 7 more to go.

EXCEPT I made the mistake of pulling out the TRUTH JEANS. These are an old pair of Gaps men’s jeans that are at LEAST 8 years old. They have been my final butt test frenemy, lo these many years, and they have four levels of measurable SNUGNESS that tell me where I am in the constant war I wage against my own rear-end.

LEVEL 1: When I MAGICALLY dip 3 – 5 pounds below my goal weight, they get POSTIVELY BAGGY and I have a song in my heart and a spring in my step.

LEVEL 2: When I am AT my goal weight, they are a smooth and cheerful fit.

LEVEL 3: When I weigh the number the One True Scale GAVE ME ON MONDAY (5 – 7 pounds up from goal weight) they are SNUG but wearable.

LEVEL 4: When I weigh the number the One True Scale gave me when I STARTED, I have to lie down to zip them and they are SO snug Daisy Duke might hesitate before leaving the house in ‘em.

Beloveds, I put them on yesterday, TOTALLY expecting to get a level three butt reading (AKA,“Snug but wearable.”) What I GOT was …a LEVEL 4! YES! FOUR! The Daisy Duke would change level!

There was no escaping the message of the Truth Jeans. They were telling me that THE ONE TRUE SCALE is OLD and NO LONGER ACCURATE. The TRUTH JEANS were SO tight that IF I had ever followed through on my promise to TATTOO the awesome ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY review of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming onto my butt cheek, you would have been able to READ EVERY WORD OF IT. AND NO they didn’t recently get run through the drier or anything. They never get washed because I do not WEAR them. They sit on a shelf and are taken down to TEST BUTT SIZE with, and then they are put away. It was nto THEM. It was…The One True Scale. I put it in the trash.

Then I went and got a NEW SCALE. Glass. Analog. Expensive. Accurate to the tenth decimal point. Bitterly, brutally honest.

The Evil Oracle (as I call the One True Scale’s replacement) has this morning CONFIRMED the pronouncement of the TRUTH JEANS. My starting weight was FOUR POUNDS LOW.

Scott does not get how this is a TRAGEDY.

Him: But you STILL lost five pounds.
Me: BUT I STILL HAVE FOUR MORE TO LOSE!!!! SO instead of being ALMOST HALFWAY I am practically back where I started.
Him: No. You are not where you started. You lost five pounds.
Me. BUT They were SECRET POUNDS! I didn’t know I HAD THEM!
Him: But still, you lost five pounds.
Me: Honey. It doesn’t count if you lose SECRET POUNDS. Everyone knows that.

He still doesn’t get how this is a tragedy, but 4 out of 5 Virulent Brain Monkeys agree with me. The secret pounds don’t count, and therefore I am only one pound down after THREE FREAKIN’ ENDLESS WEEKS OF ALMOST CHOCOLATE-FREE VIRTUOUS FOOD GOODNESS.

If you need me, I will be over here. I have a very busy day planned, chock full of exciting activities like stewing in my own foul juices, brooding, and trying to get my Truth Jeans to catch fire by glaring at them with incendiary rage.

Posted by joshilyn at June 10, 2008 10:24 AM

Sheesh. Doesn't EVERYONE know that Secret Pounds don't count? Silly husband.

I refuse to get on my own One True Scale, as I am sure that it will reveal Secret Pounds to me. I prefer to be deluded.

Posted by: RuthWells at June 10, 2008 11:32 AM

I am too fat to have a one true scale or Truth Jeans. Also, the last time I tried to exercise myself down below a (generous) 12, I got a melanoma removed from my leg, making exercise impossible for a month, which is clearly a message that exercise is Wrong for Me.

BUT! If you can be distracted by pleasure from your incendiary rage, and are not yet familiar with Julia Spencer-Fleming, St. Martin's Press are celebrating the publishing of the 6th book in her mystery series by GIVING AWAY the first and second books FREE - in ebook form (for those of you who do such things). From the I Shall Not Want page of their site, or via Sony ebooks or Kindle/ Amazon. I love these books - the honest conflicts - and attraction- between the characters (a Vietnam-era vet-turned small-town sheriff and a just-out-of-the Army helicopter pilot-turned Episcopal priest)and the principled way they cope with them. And I love the Adirondack setting (I spent several years in Central NY), and the difficulty our urban-Southern woman has dealing with it!

Posted by: Diane (TT) at June 10, 2008 12:07 PM

i love you.

Posted by: the planet of janet at June 10, 2008 12:29 PM

Diane -- I own both those books already. I am a Julia Spencer Fleming fan, too! :)


Posted by: Joshilyn at June 10, 2008 12:32 PM

Oh, hon, men do NOT get this, why even try to explain it to them? I can't decide whether I admire your self-truthiness in using both a scale and a butt-monitoring pair of jeans (I'm taking the *LA LA LA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!* approach to weight monitoring at the moment) or whether I depair because you have set yourself up for a high mental illness number with these tools. Let's say it's both.

Posted by: Carrie (in MN) at June 10, 2008 12:46 PM

"Despair" darnit, not "depair"!

Posted by: Carrie (in MN) at June 10, 2008 12:46 PM

Oh, well! If free books can't do it, then you must contemplate your amazing willpower in having endured THREE FREAKIN' ENDLESS WEEKS OF ALMOST CHOCOLATE-FREE VIRTUOUS FOOD GOODNESS. They say that using willpower builds it up. You are AWESOME, and getting thinner every second.

Posted by: Diane (TT) at June 10, 2008 12:59 PM

I have three pairs of truth jeans (sort of). I'll be honest here because I will never have to show any of you how big I actually am. They are size 8, 10 and 12. 12's are for when I have gained weight or am prementrual (is it ok to say prementrual to polite ladies?). 10's are where I am comfortable. 8's are when I have lost weight. I hardly ever get to wear the 8's. One random day this winter, I FIT into the 8's and I declared to my husband that I was a better person! I fit into the 8's! I am worthy! He was truly horrified that I let myself get that up or down over the number in my jeans. He doesn't get it either.

Worst news ever - my 10's have a hole in the knee and the others have paint on them. So I am generally feeling squeezed or dumpy lately.

What I am saying - I get it. But stop trying with Scott. The Y chromosome keeps them from processing this infomation correctly. Clear as it is, they can't wrap their brains around it. Since it is Tuesday, I say that you enjoy (wine and chocolate) the rest of the week and start anew on Monday. I'll be here in my 12's on the dark side with ice cream... beackoning....

Posted by: Em at June 10, 2008 1:35 PM

My scale is an exaggerating scale. It tells me I weigh much, much more than any other scale in the world.

My husband is the same as Scott. He does not understand the secret pounds issue. But he likes the exaggerating scale because he is disgustingly thin all the time and WANTS TO WEIGH MORE.

He eats, I gain weight. I workout, he loses weight. This may be grounds for a divorce...

Posted by: Megan at June 10, 2008 5:53 PM

Megan -- it is NOT grounds for divorce. It IS however, grounds for murder. Justifiable homicide! *nodnodnod*

Posted by: Joshilyn at June 10, 2008 6:31 PM

My butt test jeans ran away screaming the last time I even put my FOOT near them. . .they've not been seen since.

I am sorry, so sorry, so, so sorry.

But you are very, very pretty.

Posted by: Roxanne at June 10, 2008 8:39 PM

I tell myself that I am above this numbers game and that is why I do not own a scale. However the truth is probably closer to - I don't want to know. And it's a known fact that the doctor's scale is always at least ten to fifteen pounds heavier than any civilian scale and it's a evil plot by doctors to make you feel so bad that you'll visit them more often and pay for their fancy cars and trips to the Bahamas.
I also don't diet. I do "eat healthier and smaller proportions" from time to time and I "exercise because it gives me more energy" as often as I can. But I pretend it has nothing to do with wanting to fit into a smaller size of jeans. But I lie. Keep that between you and me, okay?
But today, having been good and virtuous in a number of ways for practically an entire WEEK, went out and indulged. I bought books. I went to the thrift store and bought treasures. And I ate out and ordered breaded and fried foods!!!! There. I said it. Tonight there will be wine and cookies. And tomorrow I'll go back to pretending I don't like that sort of thing.

Posted by: Laume at June 10, 2008 9:22 PM

My husband came home and when he parked, he could see the back yard. He noticed that the scale, which had formerly occupied the Corner of Death and Gloom in the bathroom now resided in the middle of the back yard. Directly in the path of the window. Thinking one of the children had been up to no good, he asked, "Why is the scale in the middle of the yard?"

"What scale?"

"Our scale."

"You must be mistaken. We did not own a scale. We owned a Satanic Tool of Horror. It is now dead."

"Oh. Well, then, thank you."

"Not a problem."

Posted by: toni mcgee causey at June 11, 2008 12:30 AM

For the record, I did not say in ANY of my entries that you are larger than the stick figure portrayed. I said that the stick figure was missing a mighty rack, pink socks, gauchos, and a glowing countenance, but never did I even suggest that the size of the stick figure was out of proportion to reality.

Posted by: Roxanne at June 11, 2008 1:00 AM

Oh, hee hee! I thought I was the only one with Truth Jeans. It's so good to know that I have company in the insane asylum I inhabit.

Hang in there Joshilyn. Weight Watchers truly is worth it and it works. This week at weigh in, the clouds parted and the angels sang as I reached a 30 lb loss. Of course, there's still MORE to go but 30 lbs feels good! Keep working and those Truth Jeans will be full of goodly truth again for you.

Posted by: Melissa Black at June 11, 2008 6:21 AM

I don't think I could even get my original pair of "truth jeans" past my ankles anymore. Now I will go cry.

Perhaps it is virulent brain monkeys that make for genius authors?

Posted by: Brigitte at June 11, 2008 7:32 AM

Oh you are TOO cute.
I love your secret pounds theory. And the butt tester jeans. I am SO with you. Had never owned a scale in the house until 3 months ago- now jump over it to get to the toilet.
Try a no salt, low sodium 1 gallon of water day today and I bet you get into those jeans.
Also, a dietary supplement secret?
I swear. **hand to heart**

Posted by: lindasands at June 11, 2008 8:59 AM

Is it possible your Truth Jeans have lost their Truthiness? I mean, denim is not forever.

Posted by: Katie at June 11, 2008 9:29 AM

Sweetie, you cannot explain Truth Jeans, the One True Scale, or Secret Pounds to a man. No matter how good that man might be. They just don't get it, and why should they? If THEY want to lose weight, all they have to do is think about it for a minute. And then the weight falls right off. Unfair but true.

My Truth Jeans also have a sad tale to tell, and I will not even go NEAR my one true scale for fear of accidentally committing suicide. I am leaving for vacation tomorrow...and I don't want to die before I see the ocean again.

So....I'll be coming through Atlanta and would LOVE to have a teeny, tiny salad with you on Friday lunchtime...what do you say? ;)

Posted by: Amy-Go at June 11, 2008 9:40 AM

The way I see it, the truth jeans did you a favor. They're the friend who points out you DO have spinach in your teeth instead of letting you WALK AROUND like that.

Posted by: Jess at June 11, 2008 10:42 AM

I've decided my scale is in cahoots with my 'Skinny Jeans.' My jeans are definately liar-pants because there is just no freakin' way they don't at least fit over my butt! But then I discovered my scale is also a liar-pants. The only way to keep it honest is to nudge it around the bathroom floor until it decides to do what God intended and give the PROPER weight- meaning at least 5 pounds lighter. Unfortunaely, kicking my pants off and around the room has yet to knock any kind of sense into them. Dumb pants.

Posted by: JeanEva at June 11, 2008 1:48 PM

don't forget that muscle weighs more than fat. so maybe you're just getting buff ripped abs or something.

Posted by: dramamama at June 11, 2008 2:45 PM

Joshilyn - I blame you! I read this post and then went for my shower, and stepped on my scale of truth and it LIED TO ME! It said xx1! And I went, WAHOO! Then I got suspicious. I do not FEEL xx1! My clothes do not say xx1! I stepped off the scale to investigate, and it cleared to zero. A convenient thing, for the top bar of the zero was missing. Which means I actually weighed xx7!!! LYING PIECE OF EVIL!

So. I need to find me some Truth Jeans.

(Ironic, though, of all days for the thing to stop working properly... >.>)

Posted by: Jess at June 11, 2008 9:14 PM

@toni : I bow to your willingness to kill the devil scale! Right out the window, wow!

I don't own a scale. Haven't for years. I weigh in at WeightWatchers, take my card and go back to work. I've been able to make one meeting since I moved here in February... and the leader wasn't inspiring. So I use my eTools and work on my non-ability to feed myself and not go up on the scale. sigh.

Posted by: Beth at June 12, 2008 1:36 PM