Call it a New Year’s cop-out. Call it a self-imdulgant trip down memory lane. Or just call it funny and laugh it up. I’ve come a long way since starting my blogging/writing/weight loss (attempt) journey, but my outlook (or snark output) hasn’t changed.

And 2011? I’m ready. Bring it.

From the Bookieboo archives….

I can’t look at a Twinkie without tripping over a blog post or a tweet about New Year’s resolutions, and with the holiday right around the proverbial corner, it’s very appropriate. But since most of the online mentions I am seeing about said resolutions are about weight loss and getting into shape and healthy, healthy, healthy…well…let’s just say me and my Oreo Cheesequake Dairy Queen Blizzard are just gonna sit this one out tonight. Now don’t get your yoga pants in a bunch. I haven’t fallen off the wagon. I’ve just got it parked in my garage for a few days and stepped off with all of my faculties intact. I knew that the stress of family holiday drama, combined with the stuffing and birthday cake, was going to take a toll on my weight loss efforts. And that bodybugg I just bought? Yeah…it’s sitting in my purse waiting for me to put it back to work.
I know what you are going to say: “But Pauline…there are so many healthy options for holiday meals…”
Or “Pauline, why not get rid of some of that stress by taking a turbo-kick class?”
Or “Seriously? You just consumed 820 calories and 35 grams of fat in one sitting and you’re bitching about your thighs?”
So let’s address the points one by one, shall we?
1) Yes, there are plenty of options for healthy holiday meals. I just chose (and that’s they key word here, people) not to make any. The trick is moderation and maybe next week I’ll post about how I should’ve employed a little more that tactic…
2) Yes, I could have gone to the gym more while said Family Stress was visiting, but well…I basically screwed the pooch on this one. Call me a masochist, but I figured missing three days at the gym was well worth spending time with relatives I’d rather not see on a daily basis who live some 2,000 miles away. We had some laughs, I had plenty of arguments in my head, and everyone survived Christmas. Yay for no prison time!
3) Yep…I did, in fact, just consume a blizzard and am still going to bitch about the size of my thighs, the rolls on my stomach, and the cellulite craters on my ass. And you know why? Because it’s human. Because I know I’m not the only one who wakes up each morning with the best of intentions and the ass-end of follow-through. Because tomorrow *is* another day. And well, damn it, because the day I stop bitching is the day I’ve officially given up and accepted that this is me and Dairy Queen becomes a daily staple in my diet.
News Flash: that ain’t happening any time soon. Sound your battle horns, ladies…I haven’t given up yet.
So call me your “Every Woman” in this weight loss battle. The “Wanna-be.” The “Real Mom of Calorie County.” Whatever you want. If you can relate, we should do lunch.
If I can’t be honest with you, I’m sure as hell not going to be honest with myself. And I’d say honesty is a key component with all this food and calorie tracking that I’m going to be doing again next week when I dust that wagon off and pull it out of the garage.

Jun 272010
 

Her arms are stretched out. Her laughter almost skips across the surface of the pool, not unlike a stone that has been sent out with a perfect flick of the wrist.

It’s time to practice jumping into the pool again, under the watchful eyes of her teacher. I watch, eyes wide and holding my breath, as she confidently reaches out for her teacher’s hands and momentarily disappears under the water.

I can’t breathe.

My breath picks up again, shaky, not even seconds later when her head breaks the surface and her laughter rings out again.

They are practicing “scoopers and kickers” (the toddler-friendly terms for strokes and kicks). Not even two attempts have come to pass across the length of the pool when I hear Buttercup tell her teacher that she wants to do it herself. Up until this point, Buttercup’s whole body has been kept afloat by her teacher’s outstretched leg as she hopped backwards on the other foot to facilitate Buttercup’s forward movements. Now she wants to go it alone.

I chuckle. Surely, her teacher will congratulate her for her confidence and continue to help so as not to traumatize my little girl the moment she realizes that for the first time in her young life, she’s on her own. Right?

“Are you sure?” Her teacher is smiling. Proud. Smartly avoiding eye contact with the nervous mother who is wishing there was alcohol instead of water in that bottle I brought with me to calm my nerves. For a moment, I consider jumping in and backhanding this woman for even entertaining the thought and encouraging more like it in my daughter.

Are you crazy?” I think. “She’s three! She’s innocent! She’s mine!”

“Yes!” Buttercup is ready. She wants her first real taste of independence. In a pool. During her second swimming lesson.

I think I’m going to die.

I watch, shaking, as Buttercup and her teacher begin the process of scooping and kicking and balancing her little body on one of the teachers legs. And on the count of three, Buttercup is released to scoop and kick on her own for a fraction of a second, her teacher lifting her body back up above the surface. My daughter sputters. Shocked. She wants to stop. I want them to stop. I would stop if it was me in the water with her. But it’s not me in the water. And that’s probably a good thing. Whereas I would do everything in my power to avoid creating fear by not pushing her beyond her limits, I would actually be creating the situation I’d be so desperately trying to avoid by not allowing my baby girl to learn to rely on anything or anyone outside of me.

“No, we can’t stop in the middle of the pool, silly!” her teacher says cheerfully. “We need to scoop and kick to the other side so we can practice some more!”

So Buttercup keeps going, continuously pushed just beyond her comfort level, and gaining confidence with each and every moment spent in the water with a stranger. And as each moment comes to pass, I relax just a little more.

She’s not the only one learning to let go.

 

I made a few friends. Margaret was one of them.

I met a few incredible authors. Stephanie Elizondo Griest was kind enough to provide proof.

We admired a few of the paintings adorning the walls at Rudolfo Anaya’s house. And Frances? Was always smiling.

We listened to a few songs and sang along with a few more.

We’re not just writers at a conference. Music and laughter connected us on our last night.

 

My name is Pauline Campos and I’m writing a memoir called “Baby F(Ph)at: Adventures in Motherhood, Weight Loss, and Trying to Stay Sane.” It’s an honest and snarky account of my efforts to lose the baby weight two years after pushing the kid out. It’s not another book claiming to have the answers because I don’t have them. What I do have is something real moms can relate to, and point and laugh at when they feel the need.”

I was sitting in award-winning writer, comedian, producer, and a bag of chips Rick Najera’s Comedy Writing workshop at The National Latino Writer’s Conference. A small group allowed us the chance to go around and introduce ourselves and pitch our respective projects.

But when it was my turn, Rick only heard one word.

“Snarky.”

He looked at me, curious, and asked what it meant.

I just stared back at him blankly.

“Um, well, I don’t know the dictionary defitinion,” I admitted, feeling like a total asshole. “But it’s the one word people keep using to describe my book and my sense of humor.”

I was kicking myself for not knowing the actual definition of the very word I’ve been using to describe myself. Especially now that I had a 10 pairs of eyes blinking at me expectantly.

But Rick saved me.

“I’ll give you a defintion,” he said. “Snarky: It’s ‘Sarcastic, Naturally.’”

Awesome.

“I’ll take that,” I said, smiling. “It’s perfect.”

****

So what’s the actual defintion?

According to wiktionary.com, it’s this:

Snide and Sarcastic, usually out of irritation.”

****

Rick? I like your interpration much better.

So here I am, Sarcastic. Naturally.

 

Gloria Zamora won an award for Sweet Nata. Then she took a moment to smile with me.

Mystery writer Lucha Corpi was one of many who accepted an invitation to Rudolfo Anaya’s home.

He welcomed every single one of us, the dreamers and the published, with open arms.

We were in the home of a legend. And that legend was sweet. And real. And gracious.

My claim to fame. A photo with Rudolfo Anaya.

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