Monday, June 18, 2012

Writing - Magnificent Obsession?

I consider myself a writer. Then I read a blog or article where someone claims real writers are those people who have to write. It's a passion. It's impossible for them not to write. Most of them have been writing stories since childhood. I think that's not me. I can go long periods of time without writing. Some days I have to force myself to sit down in front of the computer. Once I actually start writing, I love it. So what does that make me, a fake writer?

If writing is my hobby rather than a career, what do I call myself, one who dabbles in words? I don't consider it a career because I already retired from a career, and I only write novels which will never make the New York Times best seller list. They aren't gritty, cutting edge, thought provoking, or heartbreaking.They are simply entertaining.

So what's the criteria, a money making job, an all consuming passion, or is it simply being good at it?  If you draw or paint exceptionally well, you're an artist, even if it's not financially rewarding. If you compose, sing or play an instrument, you can call yourself a musician, even if you don't do it to the exclusion of everything else.

I may not be Hemingway, but I believe I'm good enough at stringing words and phrases together to weave an entertaining story to be able to call myself a writer.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

In My House, Diet is a Swear Word

Lately, in my house, DIET has become one of those four letter swear words, like . . . well, you know. I try not to use swear words, but occasionally one slips out especially when I'm dieting. Oops. Not eating things I like makes me cranky, but then so does trying to slip into a too-tight pairs of pants or skirt.

 I've always hated people who say they forgot to eat. I enjoy food. I look forward to deciding what to eat. My family's favorite pastime is going out to eat. Most of our traditions revolve around food. Even so, throughout my childhood, teenage years, even in my twenties and after having children, I was thin. The pounds didn't start to pile on until my late thirties when my body suddenly turned against me.

In spite of eating exactly the same amount of food, it began to store fat. So naturally, I cut back. The less I ate, the less my body required, therefore allowing it to continue to store more fat, as if it were preparing for an inevitable famine. Nor did my activity level suddenly decrease. Once my children were all in school, I went back to work. Yes, I sat on my butt for a period of time each day, but then I hurried home, made dinner, cleaned house, did laundry, chauffeured children to various events and even did yard work on the weekends. Not exactly a sedentary lifestyle.

As the years wore on, the problem only got worse. I cut back on calories, joined a gym, took up running, tried over the counter appetite suppressants and each time I lost weight until my body adjusted. Then however little I'd been eating became the new norm. Not only did I stop losing weight, but the minute I ate more, the pounds came back a lot faster than they had come off. I even tried crash diets, like drinking liquid protein instead of eating. Again, I lost weight but I could only gag that stuff down for a short period of time before my mouth absolutely refused to swallow any more. When the weight came back, it brought with it friends and relatives. I once read that you can shrink fat cells, but they don't go away. I could swear that any time I ate something that tasted good, I could hear the fat cells in my thighs saying, "Cmon down. We've got just the place for you."

When I retired, I decided to stop worrying about how much I weighed.. After all, no one but my husband looks at me anyway and he doesn't seem to care, until I reached the critical dress size. You know the one you swear you will never buy. I can disregard the scale, but the closet gets me every time. When everything becomes too tight and I can't bring myself to buy bigger, the only choice left is  . . .