Thursday, February 26, 2009

#31 Foodgasmic

Have you ever had a foodgasm? It's that feeling one gets after biting, licking or slurping something so yummy, so wonderful, so extraordinary that you close your eyes and groan. Over the years, I've been privy to a number of whispered tales of "gasmic" experiences, but sadly, my role was as a voyeur and confident. I was a foodgasm virgin. I had never succumbed to that overwhelming "oh-my-god-I'll never-get-enough-of-this" feeling.... until about 6 years ago.

Before I get into how I lost my 'foodginity', I need to share some personal facts about myself. I used to smoke. Besides it being a habit [and terrible and disgusting], I smoked to keep my weight down. A cigarette was my dessert. Instead of eating something sweet at the end of a meal, I'd light up in lieu of a slice of chocolate cake or a brownie. You get the idea - I traded my chocolate addiction for a puff and suck on a cancer stick.

About eighteen years ago, Marc and I moved in together, and it was on that day that I had my last cigarette. Life was good, and because I knew Marc would never order dessert for himself, I wasn't tempted to order one for me. And when I really felt like I wanted something, I'd either have coffee or order a dessert and have a bite or two. Don't get me wrong. I didn't give up desserts or chocolate, but I found that just a bite or two of something sweet was all I needed to satisfy me. Sometimes Marc had a bite, but most often not. He never ate dessert. And surprisingly, I have had absolutely no desire for a cigarette since that day 18 years ago.

Now, onto my Deflowering

Six years ago Marc and I went out to dinner with 2 other couples. During the meal the waiter walked over and told us that if we wanted to order the chocolate souffle we needed to put the order in then so that it would be ready by the end of our meal. The two other couples, having had this dessert before, told us that we had to try it. It was decided that a souffle would be ordered for each couple to share. The souffles arrived and as I cut into ours, this warm, dark chocolate goo started to flow out. By the way, did I mention that a dollop of vanilla ice cream was slowly melting on top? Ok, so I mixed a bit of cake with some ice cream and took a bite. OMG!!!! So this is what the girls had been talking about. I closed my eyes and swirled the warm chocolate and cool vanilla in my mouth and had my first foodgasm. As I came back to awareness, I took a quick furtive look around the table to see if anyone could tell what had just happened to me. At this point, Marc leans over and says to me, "that good, huh?'. I must have groaned out loud for he then plunged [can you believe this is G-rated?] his spoon in and took a taste. After that, we dueled fork and spoon for the rest of the 3 minutes that the souffle lasted. It was so good, that even my non-dessert eating husband couldn't resist.

Since that night, I have, on occasion, had the pleasure of sharing other molten lava cakes with Marc and other friends. However, I have to admit, that although each one has been pretty wonderful, not one of them has ever caused that same hot flush, nor intense feeling of abandon, nor carried me to the heights of ecstasy as that of my first.

Quote of the Day: If it's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it." ~Julia Child

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

#30 The Cankle Gene

A few days ago I was in a neighborhood store chatting with one of the sales associates/friend about body parts. As we were sharing body part information, a woman standing near us piped in and said that she hates her legs because she has "low calf muscles". I looked at her and asked, "do you mean you have cankles?. I happen to know this word intimately because it has been used to describe my lower appendages. My calves pretty much run into my ankles... leaving me with less than shapely gams. At my most dehydrated, I may have some small indentation above the ankle bone, but really not so that anyone would notice but me.

I was playing tennis the other day, and since my partner is on the injured list, I was playing with a substitute I had never met before. As we were walking on the court, she said to me that she usually leaves her warm-up pants on because she has sturdy "Irish legs" or, as her husband says, "fire plugs". I looked at her legs. They looked normal to me and sturdy, but most importantly they had ankles.

It seems that everyone has a body part that gives them angst, is their bane, ruins the look of a piece of clothing, etc. Had my new partner not said anything about her legs, I never would have noticed that they were short and sturdy. I would have noticed that she has ankles. Some women check out other women's breasts or eyelashes or fingernails or hair, but not me. I just look at your ankles and perhaps envy the strappy sandals you might be wearing. You see, because of my ankles, I hardly ever wear dresses, and when I do I try to either wear them long or tea length. And, I love cold weather for one reason only -- I can wear knee length dresses with boots. I have dressy boots, suede boots, patent leather boots, brown boots, black books, high heels, low heels, and so on. I think you get the picture.

One time I went into a beauty supply store and asked if they had cover up for those red/purple spider veins that some of us are unlucky to have. The clerk showed me what they had and asked if I wanted to try one of the shades. When I pulled up my pants leg to try what I thought would be my shade, she looked at me and said, "Girrrlll, who would have thunk it? Your upper part doesn't match your lower part". What she said didn't shock me, nor did I feel insulted. I have heard this on many occasions from both men and women.

Back when I was living in Washington DC, my ankles were loved, desired and complimented. It seems that black men [of all nationalities] and Hispanic men loved my thick ankles and many women of African American descent who had the loveliest lower legs I've ever seen desired to have my lower legs. I told them that I would willingly and gladly trade in a heartbeat.

Sadly, I am third generation cankle holder. Of my mother's two daughters, I was the lucky one to inherit this gene. Yeah me! Over the years I've hoped for miracle cures. I've dreamt of reshaping my cankles with liposuction. I've wondered if there was a way to lose weight in just that area. At 46 though, I've pretty much tried, hoped and dreamed of everything. Although I will have to live with my "heritage" until I'm a doddering old biddy, I can happily say that the cankle gene stopped with me. My daughter, whose legs go from here to eternity, did not get my ankles. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

#29 Exercise Boosted by Aging Memory

It's amazing that I'm not emaciated from all the exercise I get just running up and down the stairs in my house. I've always needed to get things from the second and third floors, but this excessive exercise is a somewhat new phenomena. I've been in my three story home for the past 13 years, but it's only in the last year or two that my memory is beginning to go.... leading to this new "exercise routine". What I've realized is that since my late 30s I've been spending almost all my time trying to keep my physical body from aging and that I forgot my mental organ.

I read a blog the other day where the writer shared how her ability to focus isn't the best and that she may leave one room to go get something from another room only to start doing something else and return back to the original room without getting what she left to get in the first place. I'm exhausted just writing this and I think maybe she lives in a single story house because she didn't make one complaint about her knees.

Anyway, here's a perfect example of my aging brain. I'm getting ready to take my daughter to the orthodontist and decide that I want to bring my book. When I head upstairs to my night table to get said book, I see that nobody has brought the laundry basket up, so I do so. I carry it into my room and notice that one of my son's electronic gadgets is lying on top of the clothing so I take it down the hall to his room. I tell him that I'm leaving with his sister and that he shouldn't forget to feed and play with the dog. I open my daughter's bedroom door and almost faint from the mess and tell her to clean up and be ready in 15 minutes. I then proceed back to my room to put away the clothing. I finish that and decide that since I have a few minutes I'll go to the third floor to inspect the kid's play room [where I found a plate of 3 day old pizza last week] and notice that there are no towels in the bathroom up there. I run downstairs to the linen closet and back up to the third floor to put the towels in the bathroom. I tidy up the third floor and go back to my room to get the laundry basket to bring back downstairs. I put the basket in the laundry room and realize that I've left my cell phone on my bed. I run back up, get the phone and off my daughter and I go to the orthodontist... without my book. See what I mean? I sat in the dentist's office reading the same People Magazine I had read earlier in the week [at a different kid's appointment] instead of reading The Devil in the White City, which is a wonderful history about the building of the Chicago Worlds Fair - something that would really massage my brain. Oh yeah, and I have a book on my iphone, but I didn't have my headphones, which I had meant to put back in my car the other day, but forgot to do when I put them down on the kitchen counter to answer the phone.

I guess I'm not really complaining about the amount of exercise I'm getting. All that climbing and running is burning calories, working on my quads and helping lift those sagging butt muscles. However, I think it's my sagging memory muscle that disturbs me. I'd like to believe it's as my blogger friend says, "her inability to focus", that is causing my new exercise regime, but I've never had that problem and so I think not.

So, to improve upon my memory lapses, I'm going to increase my brain exercises. I already do crossword puzzles and computer word games and read copious numbers of books per month, but obviously more is needed. From now on when I don't know what a word means, I'm going to look it up. From now on when I don't understand a mathematical problem my children ask me, I'm going to stoke those old memories back into the current data base. From now on when I can't figure out the crossword and leave it for my husband to fill in, I'm going to persevere. From now on when I'm running up and down those stairs, I'm going to push even harder and faster. Perhaps I'll even leave some free weights at the bottom of each landing so that I get the full bang for the buck or ask Marc to chase me.... or not.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Remember back in January I wrote in blog #24 that I was searching for meaning and purpose? That this is my year? Well, I'm happy to report that I am on my way. Starting in March, I will begin a 9 month immersion class in Anusara Yoga. I'm very excited and also a little nervous. How did this decision happen? Well... truthfully, by answering a lot of questions. When I kept coming back to the same answers, wanting to share knowledge and be healthy, I sent out an email query.

I wrote to a yoga instructor whose classes I had taken in the past and asked her how one goes about starting a yoga practice [practice defined as: repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency, as in incorporating this into your life]. She emailed me some questions and said that it would help her [to help me] if I answered them.

I wrote and re-wrote my answers, each time digging a little deeper, until I was able to put them all into a cohesive and understandable letter. I then sent her a copy. Below is my response:

Dear B,

I love the way I feel after yoga [and it doesn't matter what kind]. My head, heart and body feel calm and at the same time invigorated. Some teachers are better than others, but I take and give in each class what I am able to physically, spiritually and as a student. Almost 100% of the time I leave feeling "good" in the ways one should after yoga. It's one place where I don't expect anything from myself and am always happily amazed when I see that I am able to move/stand/pose/breathe/bend/stretch better or more comfortably or further than the last time.

Ten years ago when I was doing yoga almost everyday, my body felt like a well oiled machine. No neck aches, back aches, pulled muscles or tendons. I actually grew a 1/2 inch. I felt sore after some classes, but the kind of sore that hurts so good. I was so limber in many ways, and yet, I was unable to attain many poses. I'm now 10 years older and what I wanted in and for my life then is not what I want today. Spiritually and emotionally, my temperament has changed. Physically, it's going to take a little longer to get that muscle and joint elasticity back, but I can already see some improvement. I'm not a vegetarian if that means anything, but I try to eat and teach a healthy diet for myself and family.

I write a blog, and in January I wrote about this being my year. I have learned that when I feel best is when I have helped others feel their's. I have given a lot of thought to what I could do that would make me feel happy, healthy, stimulated, stimulating, inspired and inspiring, and I decided one way to achieve that would be to teach something that I love.

I don't know if you were aware of this, but I have taught anatomy and physiology over the years at different institutions and enjoyed it greatly. It is intellectually stimulating and I love it when I see students really enjoying learning it, but this doesn't make me healthy or calm or feel physically improved. It would mean more to me if after teaching a class, a student would leave feeling a renewed sense of personal awareness, a calmness, physically in touch with their abilities and inabilities, etc. I guess I would want them to say to themselves, "That was a really good class. I liked her voice and what she had to share. I'm going back to that one next week to see what else I can learn about myself".

So, although getting a "weekend certificate" would be great in many ways, I'm not sure that it would benefit me in my quest for meaning and purpose. I've had the chance a couple of times to teach a yoga class when the instructor didn't show or was late. Obviously I like to teach based on my past, but I truly loved this. As you recommended I looked at the Anusara site [on the internet] and honestly, it seems a little more intense and involved than I was expecting. However, after some thought, I came to the realization, "What's the rush? I'm not going anywhere and I'm sure not getting any younger [to which my knees can attest]!". So, when is your immersion course starting?
Fondly, Bobbie

Quote of the day: What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Zig Ziglar