Silent Screams (and other odd sounds)

This is what I'm thinking RIGHT NOW. It may not be what I'm thinking tomorrow.


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Weight Adjustment Resolutions in the New Year

The holiday eating and drinking frenzy is often followed by a solemn oath to eat more healthy in the new year. Some of us step on the scales with fear and trepidation. The scales, to most of us, is not our friend. We step on it with one eye closed hoping that the number we see will be exactly what we want it to be.

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If I said that the general population finds obesity offensive would you be surprised?  Would you be surprised that being overweight is every bit, if not more, discriminated against as race or sexual orientation?  Would you believe that this person:

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is more offensive to most people than this person?

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Why?

Each of these people have value and worth.  Each of these people have feelings. Each of these people are humans created by a Higher Power.  Each of these people have serious health issues.  For the most part, only one of them will get sympathy and the other will get criticism.  Notice the “www.funnypic.com” words on the picture of the obese woman.  What is she doing that is funny?  She is merely doing the same thing that another person at any gym may be doing, but since she is “fat” it is funny.  I want to say kudos to her for getting up and being more active.  For the most part, only one will get “advice” from well-meaning friends and relatives to adjust their weight; the other will more than likely be told (if more clothes are on to cover the obvious) that “I wish I was thin like you.”

As Americans, we are obsessed with the idea that we can not be “too rich or too thin.” Americans value thin despite the fact that we are probably the most overweight people in the world.  Maybe we should be more concerned with trying to get as healthy as we can instead of what may or may not be aesthetically pleasing to others.  In my humble opinion, weight loss should never be driven by how it makes us look but by how it makes us feel when we are at a healthy weight for our body.  Weight loss should be driven by a desire to live as optimally as possible throughout our whole life.

Although I have not been on the extremes of the spectrum, I have been on both sides.  I have been overweight and I have been thin.  I have been told how much better I would look if I would just lose a little weight and I have been told that “I wish I was as thin as you.”  Rarely did people tell me to gain or lose weight because of health; those that did cared about me and not what I looked like.


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From Christmas to Giftmas

I wish, for once, I could accurately articulate the multitude of reasons that I wish Christmas and the entire Holiday season would pass from my eyes unnoticed.  Christmas is not a joyous time for me.  It can be a time of pain and sorrow as we remember what once was and what will never be again.  Many suicides are attempted at this joyous time of year and that mere thought makes me sad knowing that those who attempted to die feel they had absolutely no one they could have reached out to to give them one moment of comfort that could have lead them into a new year and possibly a new hope.  My heart breaks for them, and for their families who have now lost a loved one.  The hurt breaks both ways.

For me the “Holiday Season” begins right before Thanksgiving and ends shortly after the New Year.   Yes, I say, “Happy Holidays” but it is not to take Christmas out of the season, it is to include Thanksgiving and New Years into their rightful places in the festivities.  I do say “Merry Christmas” on Christmas Day, and I say Happy Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day and I say Happy New Year on New Year Day, so why do so many people want to correct me?  I am wishing all people a festive holiday SEASON, not just happiness on one particular day.

Christmas has changed over the years for me.  Perhaps it is because I’ve grown up; perhaps it is because I haven’t grown up at ll.  For me, the anticipation of Christmas was never the shinny gifts under the Christmas tree or the brightly wrapped packages; it was the smell, hustle, and bustle of Christmas – said simply – it was the electric energy that traveled through every person – pure excitement.  I would wake up early on Christmas Eve and my mother would already be slaving over a hot stove making pies and cakes and all sorts of “Christmas” goodies that we, as children, had grown accustomed to.  “Merry Christmas Eve,” I’d excitedly shout out to her and she’d return my salutation with a big kiss on the cheek.

About noon, Christmas Eve guest would begin to trickle in.  Some were relatives, some were friends, and some just wanted to give us a few of their cookies they had baked to thank my mom for all she has done for them throughout the year.  Some stayed a short time, some stayed a little while, and some stayed until the Christmas Eve festivities began.  As my mother spoke to her guests, she’s pop out a couple of pumpkin pies here and some apple pies there, along with her Philadelphia Cream Cheese Pies that have never been completely duplicated to this day.  It was all good to her and the more people that dropped by, the more festive she became.  My mother was the center of Christmas.  She knew how to get things done AND enjoy all the holiday had to offer.  I never learned that from her; I wish I had listened or watched more closely.

When the official start of Christmas Eve started, the feast of the 7 fish commencement……and stunk.  My aunts and uncles from all over would congregate at my house to begin the eating of the fish.  Yuck!  I stuck with tuna fish which for me was the least of all the evils; but as I grew up, I came to realize that shrimp and and crab weren’t too bad either.  Christmases of past were special, they embodied all of what Christmas should be.  They did not have the “what did you get me for Christmas” present attitude.  Christmas was about helping, having, loving, and being with those you cared about.

Christmas is gone.  It is now merely Giftmas.  Giftmas says, “How much am I going to get from you for Christmas and are you going to like it?”  Giftmas says, “How close to the time can I get to your house before it’s actually time to eat so I don’t have to help you set the table or put out the food”  The real sad thing about Giftmas is….”How long can I stay away from those I love or profess to love so I don’t have to feel the true meaning of Christmas.?”  It is just so much easier to thank someone for a gift.


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Fine Italian Dining

In a little while I’ll be leaving to attend the local Italian-American Heritage Festival.  For most Italians, it is a festival not to be  missed.  My mother loved going to the festival.  For her, it was an opportunity to meet up with a group of friends who would reminisce about the past.  While others were chowing down on pasta, meatballs, sauce, and other Italian dishes, the friends that my mother would meet up with rarely consumed such festival cuisine.  Why would they when some of the best Italian food ever tasted came directly from their kitchens.

Since I was privy to some of the best Italian food ever consumed by human beings, and since there is little else to do at the festival, I didn’t attend often.  I only attended when my mother couldn’t find anyone else to take her there.

Today, as I was thinking about attending the festival for the first time in what must be over 10 years, of course my thoughts turned to my mother.  I can see her face as her eyes would light up when she suddenly spotted someone in the crowd that she knew.  I can hear her telling me how “I” should know who they are, but in reality if I knew them I didn’t remember.  I remember her friends telling me, “I remember you when you were ‘this big'” and I’d smile just a second before the Italian (and hands) started to fly.  Today, I wondered if my mother thought of her own mother at the Italian-American Heritage Festival as she socialized with so many people.

I wonder, is it the connection to the not so distant past the draws so many people to the festival?  For Italians, it certainly can’t be the food!