January’s Journey

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I got fat.

Well not just fat, more like heart-attack-waiting-to-happen obese.

But let’s just back the food truck up for a minute here and start from the beginning.

Now, to truly start from the beginning, I need to take you back to August of 2014 when, on a snap decision made out of my husband’s mid-life crisis, I found myself in a mini van packed to the roof with my belongings heading back to my hometown in Michigan.

Lizzie did not survive the trip. I think she was just too old and hadn’t been feeling herself for some time. R.I.P my sweet, scaly girl.

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Anyhow, about 2 and a half months later, my husband Paul would walk away from our condo in Jacksonville and his property management job of 16 years to join me at my parents’ house with our 13 years of accumulated crap in tow. I had started working for my father at his auto repair shop, Paul got a short-lived job in property management for the first few months until that turned sour, at which point he decided to join the blue-collar world once again working in a factory. We rented a cozy little apartment in a quiet neighborhood, and we adore everything about living in a small town.

As for the kids, two of the five stayed in Jacksonville. Big Red moved to North Carolina with her new boyfriend. The oldest, her husband, and our grand baby decided to join us here in Michigan and get their own apartment. So we just have the youngest with us yet, and he’s 14.

I don’t know if I’ve ever really thanked my husband for his mid-life crisis yet, but it was the best decision we’ve ever made.

So now that you’re caught up on 2 years of my life in a nutshell,  you’re probably asking yourself, “What does any of this have to do with you getting fat?”

Well, the answer is 2 fold:

1 – Even though the move was a good one, I don’t adjust to change very well.

2 – Suddenly, without five mouths to feed we could afford food. Like…any food. All of the tasty, glorious, calorie-loaded food that we could get our lips on.

2 and a half-ish – having a sit-for-9-hours-a-day  desk job where customers are always bringing in donuts, pizza, and baked goods “just to say thanks” doesn’t help much, either.

Caloric intake doesn’t affect my husband much. As a matter of fact, he’s gotten skinny because his factory job keeps him in shape. He can shove anything into his gullet and not gain a pound. I hate him for this.

Me, on the other hand, I can just smell chocolate and gain 3 pounds. It’s like my metabolism got up and walked away when I hit 40.

So, I started gaining weight. Just a little at first, but then a little more. My dad would order himself and the other woman in the office some breakfast every morning. “Hey kid, you want anything?”… “Sure, dad, I’ll take ham, egg, and cheese on a muffin… and a chocolate milk.” Then I’d go get a greasy burger and fries and a big chocolate shake for lunch.

Oh, and not to mention the late night snacking just because I could. Doritos and Oreos? Sure, why not.

So the pants would get packed away to make room for larger sizes. Large and XL made way for 2XL and even some 3XL. It just kept getting worse.

The beginning of 2016 rolled around and I found myself in and out of the doctor’s office because of this pain or that pain. I’d look away when they’d have me step on the scale because I just didn’t want to know. I was depressed, partly because of what I’d let myself become but there were some other factors involved, too.

I started looking for a quick fix for what I had done to myself. I checked into bariatric surgery but insurance wouldn’t cover it. I started shopping around for miracle slimming pills…something that would shed the pounds quickly with no effort on my part. I checked out the Fit Body Boot Camp one morning, but decided it was just too intense for me. Nope. Not happening.

Around about the 6th of the year as I was driving home from somewhere that I can’t even remember, I recall thinking that maybe I should just drive into a tree at about 70 and be done with it. That’s a quick and easy fix. That’s about the time I realized how bad my depression had gotten and I ended up at church sobbing my heart out to my Pastor’s wife and getting some much needed encouragement. The following day, change started.

Change is hard.

Change is especially hard for people who fear change, and lets face it, are so lazy that they’d rather have a quick fix than put any real effort into getting back on track.

But, it happened, and as all change must, it had to start with a goal.

I gave myself the year to lose 107 pounds. That will put me right where I should be for my height and body type.

So where am I at today?

Well, I have lost 47 pounds, which leaves me with 60 to go.

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Here’s what else I’ve lost: Back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, ankle pain, night sweats, and low self esteem. The depression has gotten quite a bit better, too.

Here’s what I’ve quit to get here: Soda and other sugar-loaded drinks, candy, chips, sweets and junk-food, anything deep-fried, bread, potatoes, and some dairy. We don’t eat out much anymore, either, which has saved our bank account as well as my thighs.

I still have a long road to haul but I’m confident I can do it because some changes have already become habits. I really thought that giving up sugar would be hard, but that part hasn’t been too bad. Bread has been the hardest one to quit because so many things involve bread, but I’ve found some pretty creative ways to make breadless sandwiches.

I decided from the beginning that I’m not going to be one of those  people that has to keep annoying everyone with the constant updates of their weight loss journey, nor do I feel it’s my duty to become some outspoken advocate for health and wellness just because I’ve made it my personal goal to get on the right track. If you want a big old sloppy bacon cheeseburger,  fries, and a coke, well I’ll join you with my grilled chicken salad and water, and we’ll hopefully have some great conversation while we stuff our faces. I won’t judge. Nothing is more annoying than someone that jumps on a bandwagon and expects everyone else to join them, too. You live your life, I’ll live mine. Deal?

So consider this the first of maybe only two or 3 updates that you’re going to get on the subject of my weight loss journey.

I wouldn’t mind a few words of encouragement as I journey on, though.

Even though my body says, “You go, girl, eat that lean cuisine,” my taste buds want to bury themselves in a big bowl of macaroni and cheese and a bucket of fried chicken…

YUM! wear 309

Extra crispy…

With gravy…

No.

Bad taste buds.

 

 

 

 

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Lost It

You should start writing again they say.

Well, “They” say a lot, and I generally shrug off what “They” say with my usual degree of self- absorbed laziness and a plethora of not-so-well thought out excuses, but maybe “They” have a point.

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There’s an age old saying that probably dates back to Old Testament times when God granted Moses the power to do some stuff, and he responded with “Nuh uh. I can’t do that stuff…” To which God replied, “I gave you the ability to do stuff, Moses, now go forth and do some stuff….’cuz if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”

Or something like that.

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If you don’t use it you’ll lose it.

There they are. Those ancient, dusty words…

And maybe I have lost it.

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Oops. Wrong kind of “lost it”.

Anyhow, at times I can almost physically feel it slipping away…that passion I once had for weaving random verbiage into something mildly entertaining, the way that a kindergartner might weave some fuzzy strips of overstuffed, booger-laden yarn into a pot holder for Mother’s Day. It’s at those times that I give in to the self doubt, and then mentally beat myself up with the assurance that it’s most certainly gone by now…

But then, here we are, and just like that rambunctious little monster that hasn’t been quite right in the head since he was old enough to talk simply has to stick his tongue on the electric fence just to see what happens, I, of course, have to find out.

Who knows? Maybe I do still harbor a glimmer of that former key-stroking glory that once had my adoring one and a half fans so enraptured by my oozing charm and insatiable wit…

Or maybe it’s just a slow night for prime-time programming.

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At any rate, let’s consider this a little “stick my toe in the water” test to see if it’s warm enough to dive back into this vast blog ocean once again.

I’ll either sink or swim.

Or get eaten by something really big with sharp teeth.

So check in occasionally for random (and probably highly infrequent because the crazy lady now has a full time job) installments of really inane babbling that will probably leave you having “lost it” yourself.

Until next time…

Here’s a napkin.

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Sop up that drool.

Momisms

Daily Prompt: Verbal Ticks

Is there a word or a phrase you use (or overuse) all the time, and are seemingly unable to get rid of? If not, what’s the one that drives you crazy when others use it?

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Momisms they’re called.

Those little words, phrases, or pet names that I’ve created and say so often that they drive my family crazy. So crazy, in fact, that they’ll often say them for me now in some mockingly sarcastic tone before my lips can even form the syllables.

I happen to have several of these momisms, and to narrow it down to the most overused one would just seem well…impossible.

I’m grateful for this opportunity to share with you, my adoring one and a half fans, some of my most coveted momisms, in vocabulary form. Pay close attention. There will be a quiz later.

Hubnoxious: A combination of the words ‘husband’ and ‘obnoxious’. I use this word frequently in reference to my 41-going-on-7 year old husband when he’s acting more juvenile than the kids.

When used in a sentence: “Its 7 am. Why are you poking me? Quit being so hubnoxious.”

(Okay that’s 3 sentences but you get the point.)

Red-Doodle: A word often used when addressing my red-headed offspring with hair the color of a cheese doodle.

When used in a sentence: “The floor is not your laundry hamper, Red-doodle.”

(Coincidentally, ‘the floor is not your laundry hamper’ is also a favorite and frequently used momism.)

Man-Squirrel: A name used to describe Red-Doodle’s boyfriend because the boy behaves just like Hammy the squirrel from ‘Over the Hedge’. (In other words, a nervous squirrel with A.D.D hopped up on energy drinks.)

When used in a sentence: “Please tell your man-squirrel to go sit down somewhere, he’s making me and everyone else within a 60 yard radius nervous.”

BerbsieA mutated form of Berber, which stems from the name Amber and is also occasionally used in acknowledgement of the red-haired female child.

When used in a sentence: “Get a move on, Berbsie, we’re already 15 minutes late.”

Slower than Molasses in January: The reason why ‘Berbsie’ has made us 15 minutes late. Because she has one speed, and it isn’t fast. Much like molasses, a slow pouring liquid that would pour even slower, if at all, after being introduced to the biting January cold. While this phrase has been around for decades and isn’t necessarily my own, I say it often enough to consider it another annoying momism.

When used in a sentence: “I swear, child, you’re slower than molasses in January.”

Smallish Male Human: Used when referring to the youngest child in the family, and often written on his school lunch bag lest he forget what he is. Sometimes these words are simply replaced with: ‘the boy’.

When used in a sentence: “Aww look, the smallish male human has fallen asleep in the back seat and is drooling on himself”, or “have you fed the boy yet or should I?

Get up, clean up: The same 4 words used any given morning when the job of getting the kids up and out of bed has befallen me. Their rooms in the morning tend to look like a hurricane passed through the night before, hence the ‘clean up’ part. These words must always be barked in shrill mom-tones as bedroom doors are rapidly flung open to achieve the desired effect.

When used in a sentence: “Get up, clean up.

Kapeesh?: A shortened way of asking, “Do you understand what I am saying to you?” Often used to drive a point home at the end of a lecture. Not necessarily my own word either, but used so frequently by my mother when I was a kid that it has now become an integral part of my own vocabulary.

When used in a sentence: “Come home late one more time, and you won’t see the light of day for a month, Kapeesh?”

You spill, I kill, you know the drill: A phrase directed toward the ‘smallish male human’ to let him know that he’d better be careful while eating food anywhere other than the kitchen table. He’s heard this phrase so often that he now says these words for me as he disappears into his room with a bowl or plate.

When used in a sentence: (in mocking tone) Yes mom, I know…”You spill, I kill, you know the drill.”

It is what it is: Another way of saying, “Oh well, you can’t change it so you might as well accept it and move on.” This phrase was formerly used so often in conjunction with the words “quite frankly”, that now the ‘red-doodle’ will add the “quite frankly” part in mocking jest  for me every time I say this phrase.

When used in a sentence: “We aren’t millionaires again today…ah well, it is what it is.”

(followed by the echoing “quite frankly” from the red headed child)

End of Story: Meaning ‘I expect to hear no further argument on the subject’. A phrase inherited by my father but now spoken more frequently by my husband than myself because I’m more of a pushover than he is.

When used in a sentence: “I don’t care if you are on the phone with the man-squirrel for the 20th time today, I said put your laundry away…end of story.”

I think that pretty much sums up today’s lesson in momisms.

Like all good things, this post must come to an end, and quite frankly…

It is what it is.

End of story.

 

10 Reasons Why I Could Never Be A Cougar

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I enjoy surfing long into the still of the night.

Channel surfing, that is.

Hours after the hubster is gently…okay loudly…very, very loudly snoring next to me, my insomnia has me flipping through 300-and-something channels in search of something suitable to watch until I’m sleepy enough to join him in dreamland.

Many times in my late night TV travels, I’ll come across a commercial for a website for called cougarlife.com.

Now, in case there’s some confusion, this particular site isn’t dedicated to informing the masses about the instincts and habits of some sleek and powerful mountain cats. No, this is a site dedicated to the human variety of cougar; middle aged women in search of men half their age or significantly younger in the interest of pursing a sexual relationship.

When I see these commercials I admittedly shake my head and roll my eyes.

I’m a happily married Christian woman, and for those reasons alone I could never bring myself to do what these ladies do,  but of course it still makes me think…what if I weren’t? Could I commit to becoming some cradle-robbing baby chaser under a different set of circumstances?

I decided that no matter what type of life I chose to lead, the answer would be still be no. I could never become a ‘cougar’, no matter how desperate for male companionship I became, and here are some reasons why:

1. Who’s Lynyrd Skynyrd and what’s an 8 track?

Come on…Freebird? Sweet Home Alabama? No? Okay kiddo, you just go back to listening to the ‘Flying Meatmonkeys’ or whatever drivel is streaming through those buds in your cute little ears.

Its called common ground…or in this case, lack thereof. To be able to connect with someone on even a physical level, there has to be some key element that we can both relate to, some sort of chemistry, a conversational spark. Coming from completely different eras, I don’t think that the Golden Gate could even bridge this generational gap.

2. Club hop? I couldn’t even club hobble anymore.

Generally speaking, the younger crowd tends to get their kicks indulging in whatever social scene that nightclubs have to offer, and it’s the best place to go if you’re on the hunt for young, available, easy men. I used to frequent the clubs when I was young, as did all of my friends.

I, however, grew sick of the partying scene and grew up somewhere in my late 20’s. Now I have maybe 2 or 3 drinks a year and only dance at weddings.

I can’t really say this fact bothers me much, either. When my husband and I go on our yearly cruise, there’s always several young drunk people making complete idiots of themselves, and it always makes me think, “Man, did I used to act that foolish, too?”

3. I was graduating high school when your mother was begging for an epidural.

I don’t know how these women can overlook a fact that to me just seems, well…twisted. If this is the case, I am literally old enough to be your um…hot older sister…and as such, I should be offering you some snippets of wisdom and life advice, not trying to get into your pants. Seriously though, as a mother figure, I should be looking out for you, rather than trying to pick you up in some shady bar or on some equally shady website.

I doubt I’d even be able to live with the guilt that came afterward if I were to pursue an encounter with someone that many years my junior.

4.That’s someone’s son for Heaven’s sake.

Maybe one has to have a male child to actually get this, but I’m capable of putting myself in a parent’s position here. Someone, somewhere, has tried to raise their darling baby boy with a hint of morality. While the fact that he’s out chasing women old enough to be his mother holds some indication that they’ve failed in their endeavor, I’d still have to ask myself if I’d want my son involved with a much older woman.

I’d be lobbing snowballs at Satan before I’d ever let that happen.

5. My parents would be so proud.

My parents are still both very much alive and very quick to offer advice when they deem that I’m screwing up my life. They did their best to raise me with certain ethics and moral standards that set me apart from oh…hyenas and vultures, and while I may not always adhere to the way they’d like to see me handling my life, I think I do a pretty good job at being the upstanding citizen that they raised me to be.

While they may not know exactly what unsavory activities I’d be involved in if I chased after men half my age, the guilt would still be there. I was raised better than that, and knowing that my behavior would be going against every value that my parents tried to instill in me would be a terrible testament to their legacy. I’m not sure I could forgive myself for that.

6. Age is just a number you say?

I get disgusted every time I hear this statement. Granted, I’ve mostly heard it from men in my lifetime, but there has to be some degree of this line of thinking to be able to pursue a man half one’s age.

You see, age does matter. The progression of time in a person’s life equates to a greater level of stability and wisdom brought about by years of experience; emotional, mental, social, etc. Well, at least in most cases it does anyway.

By the time a woman reaches 40, even 30, she should be smart enough to understand what are or aren’t healthy relationship habits, and she should have the ability to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable social behaviors…like chasing after men half her age.

7. That’s like, hashtag, hella cray cray G.

You, young sir, sound like a moron.

With the passage of time I’ve learned that speaking in full sentences with real words has it’s social advantages, like oh…people with some measure of intelligence can understand you.  I can’t get to know someone and carry on a stimulating conversation with street slang, and it’s a huge turn off to boot. Heck, I don’t even know what half of the words in the vocabulary of today’s youth mean. This blowout’s about to turn up, huh? You want to try that sentence again in a way that my old, lame self can understand?

On the flip side of the coin, young men that try to sound overly intelligent in an effort to impress an older woman appear equally as ridiculous. I don’t listen to indie-rock, don’t drink iced mocha-chinos, and have zero interest in progressive politics. While you blindly believe that you’re hipster ways will impress me, I’m just grateful that my hips are still my own.

8. We could go back to my place, but my parents might still be up.

For oh-so-many reasons, I don’t even need to expound upon that sentence. No woman wants to hear that, whether the guy is 21 or 40. I’d imagine there’s more of a chance of hearing it from the younger crowd, though. By 40, if a man doesn’t have some sort of financial stability and a place of his own, he should be far too embarrassed to even be out trying to pick up women.

9. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

There are so many more productive things that I could do with a Saturday night than go out and try to pick up a man- any man, let alone one that’s half my age. It’s called having a sense of responsibility. My laundry isn’t going to do itself, my kitchen won’t clean itself, my blog won’t write itself, my kids could probably feed themselves but I don’t think reddi-wip, nila wafers, and processed cheese slices qualify as a well balanced meal, and I’m sure there’s a new episode of something on TV that I won’t want to miss.

10. Oh my aching back.

While a man in his early 20’s may pride himself on his 2 hour stamina, I pride myself on being able to go 5 minutes without hearing anything crack. So sorry, tiger. I couldn’t keep up with you even if I were a cougar.

And there you have it.

I’ll leave the pursuit of younger men to those older women who just don’t seem to know better…or simply don’t care, in pursuit of other avenues in life…

Like having respect for myself as a seasoned woman.

 

Anxiety

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There are times I feel I’m floating
there are times I feel I’ll drown as
life’s current keeps on pushing some
times upstream sometimes down while I
choke on murky water as fear presses in
around until calm flows in and settles
when I touch the solid ground then I’m
lifted up and rushing somewhere down
the stream once more reaching for
something to cling to brushing
past the peaceful shore faster
I am being carried torment drags
me out to sea and I’m trying not
struggle as the pain envelops me so in
stillness I surrender sinking to the
depths below and I see that light is
waning as much further down I go
and as hope reaches the bottom
I push up with all my might
through the darkness that’s
subsiding thinking I may
be alright gasping as I
break the surface fill
my lungs and I exhale
just in time to be
sucked under stretch
ing out to no avail
then a hand comes
out of nowhere
from the one
who heard
my plea I
leave all
I’ve known
behind
me reach
for Him
and I
am
f
r
e
e

Sagging Stupendous!

Daily Prompt: Game of Groans

Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever.

I personally think every male on the planet should start “sagging”.

What is sagging, you ask?

Why its only the greatest cultural phenomenon ever!

According to Wikipedia, sagging is defined as: a manner of wearing trousers or jeans which sag so that the top is significantly below the waist, sometimes revealing much of the underwear. Sagging is predominantly a male fashion.

I, however, believe sagging is best defined here:

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You see, they just can’t help it. Their elongated torsos make it difficult to wear their pants in some normal, boring, mainstream manner.

Ooo la la…Am I right ladies? Nothing hotter than a scrawny butt sticking out from over the top of some seriously huge jeans. Add a belt around the knees, and the ensemble goes from daytime casual to evening wear in and instant. It’s a great look for frequent trips to the ATM, pawn shops, liquor stores, job interviews, first dates…

When I see this look I instantly think, “Wow. That young man right there has it all together. He has a bright future ahead of him for sure.”

Just think of all the perks that this phenomenon brings with it, too, girls. I mean, you know exactly what you’re getting because you can see it all gloriously displayed over the top of their sagging South Poles.

Oh! And If you ever decide you just need a little break from your doting sagger, a brisk walk in the opposite direction will provide sufficient alone time. Pretty hard to give chase with your pants around your ankles.

Also, imagine all of that extra storage space they have for wallets, afro picks, guns, knives, your jewelry, a refreshing 40 oz. malt beverage…there’s just so much room in those over-sized jeans! Saggers are like the SUV’s of the fashion world! And if you’re ever tired of walking, ladies, you can just hop right into those size 80 jeans and hitch a ride because there’s plenty of room.

And a note to saggers everywhere: Please, by all means, continue to approach my gorgeous daughters with your pants around your ankles, sideways hat, and an ample handful of that which you are over-compensating for with your oozing charm.

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It makes me all warm and fuzzy right down to my toes when you dashing gentlemen shout things at them from across a parking lot like, “Ooo gurlll…let me holla at you fo’ a minute” and then, to make absolute certain you have their full attention, follow it up with “What? Where you goin’ gurrlll. I just wanna axe’k you sumfin.”

That right there has ‘future son in law’ written all over it.

I’m sure my husband would agree, too.

Now waddle on over and give us a hug.

Welcome to the family, son.

Thoughts On Aging

DailyPrompt: Mind Reader

Who’s the last person you saw before reading this prompt? Whether it’s a family member, a coworker, or a total stranger, write a post about what that person is thinking right now.

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 Well, it likely defeats the purpose of the whole mind reading assignment, but it’s easy enough.

The last person I saw was me.

Yep…looked in the mirror about 10 minutes ago and thought, “Man this aging business sucks.”

Things are starting to sag that never sagged before, and I used to pride myself on things being firmly packed into place in my 20’s. A push up bra? Pffft. I never even owned one.

Not to mention the occasional grey hair that I used to find that has now turned into 6 dozen or more. As I was gazing into the visor mirror busily plucking them in the car the other day, grumbling each time I’d find another, my husband and daughter told me to just quit while I was ahead. “You’re going to get 2 for every one you pull”, my husband advised. Yeah, right. It’s more of a 10 to 1 ratio these days. “But why are they all thick and wavy?” I asked. I don’t even have wavy hair! Are these someone else’s grey hairs and God just made a mistake by giving them to me?

My only saving grace now is that I don’t have crow’s feet…yet. I have a 25 year old face on a 40 year old body. Thank you, Mother Nature.

I swear my freckles have at least quadrupled over the years, too. Once upon a time, you could take a pen and play ‘connect the dots’ on my face, arms, and shoulders. Now, after half an hour in the sun, you can’t even find my face under the mass of orangey-brown freckles. At least I hope they’re freckles. Could just be liver spots.

My memory is slowly going. My husband can tell me something 50 times, and I won ‘t even remember it the next…wait…who are you again?

When I was a kid, I swear I had a cast iron stomach, too. People would dare me to eat things, and I, being the ever vigilant attention seeker that I was, would gladly oblige them. Tin cans, earthworms, failed math tests…you name it, I could ingest it as my peers looked on with open-mouthed fascination. The way to everyone’s heart seemed to be my stomach, and I could trot off down the road afterward without a care in the world.

Yesterday, people… I ate grapes. Nothing out of the ordinary, just some plump, sweet, juicy, burst-when-you-bite-them red seedless grapes. An hour later, as I was curled up in the fetal position wishing for death, wondering exactly what I did to bring the wrath of God down upon my intestines, I realized that those “eat anything and pay nothing” days were long gone.

Now, if I just get a whiff of pizza, I have raging heartburn for the next 3 days. I can’t even drink orange juice without a cherry tums chaser, and I absolutely love orange juice! And tacos? Tacos are like death wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. Even the mild ones are like a stroll through hell.

Why oh why does my body have to do this to me?

Oh, that’s right…because 40 is only 3 and a half months away, that’s why.

Welcome to adulthood, sweetheart.

Maybe you shouldn’t have been so eager to wish for it when you were a kid, hmm?