Sunday, November 20, 2005

"It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like..."

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It's 6:30 on a Sunday evening. I'm in the kitchen washing dishes and listening to the radio. I tune in to the continent-wide John Tesh radio program. Before I know it, I have Bing Crosby serenading me with song...with a Christmas song?!

Last night I was cleaning up the kitchen after Shabbat and listening to the radio, expecting to hear an oldies-goldies radio program. Sure enough, it was oldie-goldie CHRISTMAS music playing for the hour or two that it was on.

People, it's NOVEMBER 20. The U.S. hasn't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet!!! What is with this Christmas music playing already...on the airwaves and over department store and shopping mall PA systems? Today Toronto had its annual Santa Claus parade. That is acceptable to me because the weather is still tolerable for families to face the outdoor elements while watching the progression of this big event (equivalent of the Macy's parade). But music?

Yes, call me Jewish. Call me an Orthodox Jew. But I still like certain ones of the Christmas songs, especially if they're sung by some classic singers. Some of the songs/singers have become great American standards already and are welcome on the airwaves. Some of the music is beautiful and the lyrics just keep you cozy.

I remember when I was a kid I'd watch the Andy Williams Christmas special, the King Family Christmas specials, the Peanuts Christmas specials, but I overlooked the trees and the religious facets of these specials to just get a sense of warmth and community from the songs being sung and the bells being rung.

I'm hoping that this year over the holiday season (which apparently, according to the music being played indicates that it's already the holiday season!) when I visit the nearby large shopping mall, which is in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, I might even hear over the PA as I shop, "Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay..."

The Try-It Diet

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Okay, I'll admit it. I've been feeling "blahg" for the past week. Was it really because I felt I didn't have anything to blog about, or do the reasons go deeper? They go deeper of course. Truth is I've been crankier than usual. ("Pearl, cranky? I'd have never thought that of her.")
And why have I been crankier? Because I am on a D-I-E-T.

I have NEVER been on a diet. When girlfriends were starting to count calories when they were thirteen and fourteen years old, I thought they were idiots. I was tall and slim and had no need for that nonsense.

When my brother told me when I was about fifteen or sixteen that my "rear view" on the piano bench was getting wider, I scoffed at him. What the heck did he know? I was tall and slim.

When anorexia and bulemia were in fashion, I didn't even contemplate working my way into those categories because there was no need for that. I was tall and slim.

I'm still tall; I'm not so slim. Yes, I've been asked many a time if I'm expecting, and I just laugh and say either "No, it's just 'baby fat'!" or I say, "No, but I've been expecting you would ask that!"

When I moved homes a couple of years ago, I stored some of my smaller clothing at my parents' home; I did not want to toss out the clothes or donate them because I had hopes of being able to fit into them once some point in time. Yes, yes, I know styles go out of fashion, but for the most part I wear clothing that is classic, and thus timeless.

I joined a health club last fall, and went about 8 times over the course of the year. That was money down the toilet.

We bought a rowing machine earlier this year -- it is such a beautiful piece of equipment, and matches my bedroom furniture -- but I had never even sat on it.

But the time has come to join the masses and diet. My husband is my coach, my mentor, my cook, my conscience, my sounding board. He's been on the receiving end of my continual complaints this past week -- moaning about feeling hungry, groaning about the repetitive foods I'm eating, bitching about how tired I feel... you get my drift.

It's not just a watch-what-you-eat-leave-out-the-sugar-and-salt kind of diet; it's rather regimented and food specific. But being on this "meal plan" since Monday has made me aware of how much I really like breads, and sweets, and pasta, and fruit juices -- and how much I miss them...thus the general crankiness.

But I know I've lost several pounds already in these few days. On day #1 of the diet I was at my parents with my children for lunch; I hadn't told my folks that I was on a diet, so they prepared a wonderful milchig spread -- bagels, lox, various salads, pasta, cream cheese. I couldn't touch any of it -- could just have a touch of pretty plain salad and a few green beans. My father was so pleased when I confessed that it was the first day of a diet, that he said "Congratulations!" I told him, "Dad, don't congratulate me now, congratulate me at the end when I'm skinny again."

I've turned down social invitations over this past week and next that involve a meal. I learned (especially from being at my parents' home this week) that it's not so nice if a host prepares a lovely spread and you can't partake of any of it. After a couple of weeks, I'll be more in tune with my diet and will perhaps venture into "eating out."

Until then, I'll stick to my water, to my salads, my tuna/salmon/grilled chicken/grilled veggies, raw veggies and nuts, and hopefully when I next talk to you about my diet, it'll be because I've succeeded at it!

And yes, our ergonomic (water) rowing machine will be getting to know me better too, and vice versa, in the coming days...