Sunday, July 29, 2007

God Works in Mysterious Ways, or

...."Why I Probably Need to Get A New Exercise Bra" or

"Yeah, Not Quite As Well-Endowed As I Thought"

A friend of mine was over at my house the other day. She used her cell phone, then I noticed that she stuck it back in her bra. At least, that's what it looked like. So I asked her, "Did you just put that phone back in your bra?" because I'm nothing if not subtle. She confirmed that's what she had done and said it stayed in there really well and that's where she put it when she goes running.

Huh, I thought to myself, because I don't bring my cell phone with me when I go running, but I could see why that might be a good idea.

On Friday night I had a chance to see how well this idea works for me. I was going to go for a run, and since it was nighttime -- I usually go running in the morning, which doesn't cause me that much concern for my personal safety -- so it seemed like a good idea to have a cell phone with me. I tucked it into the side of my bra by the shoulder strap, put my iPod headphones in and took off.

After a bit, I noticed that the phone was slipping around a bit, but the bra was doing its elastic-y best to keep me and the phone in their proper places. At one point I noticed that it had moved over to the center, and it seemed to be nicely wedged between the girls and I thought for sure it would be totally safe there.

At one point my iPod died, but intrepid girl that I am, I kept right on going. It bugged me though, because it should have had a pretty good charge to it since I had only used it for an hour the day before at the gym.

A little less than halfway through the run, I turned down a side street. Since it was a bit darker there than on the main street, I figured it would be safe to make sure I knew where my phone was. I put my hand to its last known location and it wasn't there. No biggie, I thought; that just means that it's moved back to the side. Nope, not there either. Now both hands are in the action -- checking the back strap, the side straps, the under strap -- no phone. I was a little panicked, thinking that since it was so dark and a lot of grassy areas, busy intersections, etc., depending on where I had lost it, it might be smashed, or worse -- someone else may have seen it and picked it up and was now having a grand old time calling Jakarta ... or wherever it is that phone thieves call. I was already imagining having to get a new phone, cancel this one, trying to remember what the last legitimate call was that I had made and received -- you know -- all that good panicky stuff you go through when something like that is lost.

I figured it had to have fallen out before my iPod died, otherwise I would have heard it fall out, so I turned around and started retracing my steps. I kept a sharp lookout for it just in case, but didn't think it would show up before that point. Sure enough, when I got to the intersection that I had passed just before the death of the iPod, there was the phone laying in the street. The back cover had fallen off and the battery was about a foot away, but once I put it all back together and turned it on, it worked just fine.

It seemed dumb at that point to have gotten mad about the iPod when it stopped working. If it hadn't, I never would have had any clue about where to begin looking for my phone. So God does work in mysterious ways, even if it is to protect dumb people like me from permanently losing their phones.

The other lessons learned:

I am not as well-endowed as my friend and thinking that my bra is a good place for my phone was dumb.

...Or I could just get a new bra that fits better. I'd be willing to try the experiment again, but with more caution about making sure I know where the phone is. Hard to do that without looking like you're groping yourself, though.

Pockets. Yeah, pockets. That works.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I Hate You, Sol

I can't stop looking at my butt. It's not that great of a butt, and as I lose weight it's becoming flatter, which is good, but it's not a shape I'm used to seeing. I kinda wish it were a bit more round. In other words, I don't think any rappers are going to be singing songs about me having back any time soon. But it's smaller than it was two months ago, which is such a new phenomenon I can't keep my eyes off it.

I'm starting to remind me of a girl I used to work with, Soledad, or Sol for short. She started losing a bunch of weight and was looking really great. People were complimenting her and you could tell her self-confidence was increasing. But the more she lost, the more she needed those compliments -- to the point where if she didn't get any she would start her own conversation with the victim nearest her about how great she looked, her new diet and lifestyle and how much weight she had lost. Naturally, no one really wanted to pursue conversations with her because no matter who initiated it or what the subject matter was, it would turn back around to her new body and weight loss. It got to the point where if you saw her coming down the hall, you ducked into someone else's cubicle and made up something to talk about until the coast was clear.

Examples of the obnoxity include:
"Well, this new diet my trainer has me on is very low carb which is totally hard for me to do because you know that's what I grew up eating was all that rice and bread and stuff but it's totally worth it because look how much weight I've lost and don't I look great???"

"When I started this I was a size 12 but now look at me I look great I'm a size 0 at first I thought I was a 2, but then I just got this pair of shorts aren't they cute but I have to go exchange them because I thought I was a small but these are too big so I guess I need an extra-small I sure do hope they have some in stock not a lot of people carry that size but it's because I'm a 0 now and I need the extra small aren't they cute?"

Yes, she really did speak like that -- with no audible punctuation and super fast -- almost as though she knew if she paused for breath the opportunity would be siezed to turn and run the other way. It always made me think to myself, "I hate you, Sol." It wasn't jealousy that made me think that, it was the idea that she had no self-awareness to see how blabbing incessantly about herself and how great she was was completely insensitive, rude and obnoxious.

So yes, I've been on a lower carb eating program and yes I've lost weight to the point where it's noticeable and people are starting to compliment me. I like to think, though, that if it's not noticed, I don't get offended. I'm certainly not bragging about it in an unsolicted manner. Well, at work at least I'm not.

Home is a different story. Home is a safe haven, so I feel a little more entitled to longer glances in the mirror (at my new and improved butt), not to brag but mostly in astonishment that it's noticeably smaller. This, of course, results in me making observations to anyone in the room about the new size clothes I'm fitting into and laments regarding all the clothes that I've outgrown and will either need to donate to Goodwill or have altered.

I honestly don't want to descend to the same level of obnoxiousness that Sol did on a daily basis, so I'm trying to keep my audible observations to a minimum. The cats are a good audience for that, but they act disinterested all, "Whatever, dude. Feed me," so obviously my weight loss is not in the forefront of their feline cares. In trying to be sensitive to not becoming like Sol, I said to Linda the other day after moaning about having no clothes to wear, "I don't want to be like Sol. Please let me know BEFORE we get to that point so that I don't alienate anyone or make you hate me."

Skinny Linda responded, "Oh, you can brag about it all you want. Until you get to a size 8 then you're not allowed to talk about it anymore."

I said, "Why? Is that because you're a 10 and don't want me to be smaller than you?"


Good to know. I'll never be bragging/complaining about having to exchange that super cute pair of shorts from a size small to an extra-small because I'll never be an 8. Not just because I've never been an 8 (I think I went straight from a toddler's M to a junior's 11 or 13 in adolescence) but because I don't want to risk the sanctity of body-size proportions in the home. I've always been more of the Papa Bear size in the house and I can understand that anything other than that jeopordizes that delicate balance.

More than even that, though, I don't want anyone to look at me and whisper to themselves, "I hate you, Sol."

The Bond We Share

On June 29, 1984, I was at a youth conference session at BYU. Due to the attendance numbers, they had put some of us in overflow off-campus housing. I was staying at the Riviera apartments with my three roommates. One day we came home from some classes and there was a note on the apartment door from my (now ex-)brother-in-law. "Laura Jane, your sister just had a baby and we're across the street at (the birthing center). Come see us!"

One of the advantages of staying off-campus was realized at this moment. There was no one to monitor our comings and goings, so I took my three roommates and we traipsed across the street to go see my sister and new niece. My roommates were amazed that my sister was coherent and sitting up and gracious enough to accept visitors. I was amazed that they were amazed; I expected nothing less from the woman who had already had two children and helped another sister with at-home deliveries.

Ever since that day, the family joke has been that Coralee, my niece born that day, and I shared an immediate bond because "Laura was the first loud noise she heard." It's true that we've always been friends, despite the large age difference (17+ years) between us. It has been a joy to watch her grow and mature and I love the opportunities I get to see her.

The most recent joyous landmark in her life happened on June 29, 2007. She was married in Bountiful, Utah to her new husband Zak. No coincidence on the date; it happened to fall on both of their birthdays.

Here's the beautiful bride, my niece. Best wishes and congratulations to you both!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

If You Chance to Meet a Frown...

Two months ago I started a weight loss program. Several weeks later, I'm feeling pretty good about it and myself simply because people are starting to notice and say things to me, so I know it's working. In fact, I may have been feeling a bit too confident about things.


I was at my sister's house a couple of weeks ago. I got out of the shower, which is across from a rather large mirror. I don't have that luxury at home so I took a moment to look at my nekkid body. Not a happy sight. In fact, it was a bit of a let-down after all the ego-feeding I'd been getting.

Don't get me wrong -- it's tons better than it was in April, but there's still some work to do. The reason I know this is that my belly button looks like a frownie face. Not the button itself, but the waistal surrounding it. Because there's a fair amount of excess flesh pulling the waist's skin down over the belly button, you can't actually see the umbilicus; rather just a dent where it should be, and then skin overlapping it in a downward motion. (It makes me sound like more of a behemouth than I actually am; I'm just trying to be descriptive. Believe it or not, when you do a Google image search for "belly button," there are only preggers bellies and pierced ones.)

I used my hands to pull the excess skin (okay, and the flab) back so I could see what my tummy would look like at my ideal weight. Ahhh, much better. There's the belly button just as it should be -- more like a nose than a frownie face. I made up my mind right then and there that no matter what the scale says, the frownie face transformation into a nose will be my goal. When I see that with no help, I know I've made it.

It was such a good realization for me that I went home and shared it with Linda. "I'll know I'm where I want to be when I don't have a frownie face anymore." Her blank face indicated that not everyone has spent quality nekkid time time in front of the mirror analyzing her belly button and what it looks like, so I showed her. With the visual aid, it was immediately obvious what I was talking about, and she even went and got a blue Sharpie marker and drew eyes and a nose above the frownie face. It was a little difficult to accomplish since we were both laughing so hard -- you can't really get a good drawing when the canvas is shaking so much.