Shame on Doctors for Fat Shaming

Here's a newsflash - I'm overweight.

There. Now the whole world (or the 5 people who read my blog) know that I weigh more than I should based on all those BMI charts and scales.

I also know how I got overweight - I have a love affair with sugar, ice cream, and other "bad" food. And I hate to exercise. So ice cream + sitting on my ass = Fat Traci.

Whatever. I'm working out now and I'm not eating crap at night and my goal is to get back down to my "wedding weight." I won't tell you what that number is, but let's just say it'll take a while to get there.

So I know that I'm overweight. I don't need anyone to tell me that I need to lose weight. And I certainly don't need to be handed a set of "how to lose weight instructions" like the one my friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) was handed at the end of her OB-Gyn appointment today:

First let's note that this "list of things to do to lose weight" states at the very top that the person holding the letter is OVERWEIGHT. 

Next, it's a list of "instructions" on how to lose weight. Because clearly FAT SHAMING YOUR PATIENT BY CALLING THEM OVERWEIGHT on a list of weight loss instructions isn't enough. You also have to make them feeling like a f***ing moron by giving them instructions to lose weight.

Because you know all fat people are also STUPID and they have NO F***ING CLUE HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT.

Because obviously being overweight means that your brain can't function like skinny people brains. All our fat sucks the intelligence right out of our brains and deposits it somewhere else - like my ass.

Of course if that's the case I must be a freaking genius based on the size of my ass.

If I had been handed this piece of paper with instruction on how to get skinny and not be labeled overweight I'm quite certain that I would have torn it up in little pieces RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOCTOR and then tossed those pieces of paper onto the exam table. Right where my big smart ass had been sitting naked just moments earlier.

There is NOTHING OK with this list for "fat folks."

I am appalled that (1) the doctor felt it was appropriate for the nurse to hand this piece of paper to my friend rather than actually doing her job as a DOCTOR and having a discussion about health and weight, and (2) I'm equally appalled that the corporation that runs this doctor's office (cough-ProMedica-cough) thinks fat shaming like this and calling patients overweight on a list of weight loss "instructions" is acceptable.

Let me tell you a little secret - people who are overweight already KNOW THAT THEY'RE OVERWEIGHT. They sure as shit don't need to be handed a piece of paper with the word OVERWEIGHT at the top followed by a list of "tips" to help us not be overweight.

Tips like: keep a food journal, write down why you ate, eat only when you're hungry, blah blah blah. Honestly my 7 year old could write a better and less condescending list than this. 

Overweight people aren't stupid and we sure as hell don't deserved to be shamed at our doctor's office or anywhere else. We're all struggling to get healthy and stay healthy. So maybe you doctors should pull your heads out of your asses and remember that.


When I Want Your Opinion I'll Ask for It. (Alternate title: Shut Up Already)

I'm beginning to hate Facebook.

Normally the "social media" site tends to just be annoying and full of humlebragging but the thing that is turning me off lately is the overwhelming trend of posting your contrary opinion on a post when NO ONE ASKED FOR IT.

Look, I get it. Everyone likes to post status updated on Facebook. But guess what? You don't need to post your opinion on every status update. If I say "I'm so sick and tired of all this snow and cold weather!" you don't need to post "but you live in Ohio!" or "If you don't like the weather, move!"

I know I live in Ohio.
I can still hate winter.
And I'm not moving anytime soon.

And when I post about how annoyed I am that we have yet ANOTHER SNOW DAY (number 9 or 10 ... I've lost count) there's no reason to yell at me about the dangers of having my kids on the school bus in freezing rain.

Because (1) there's NO freezing rain, and (2) it's only snowing outside right now and then kids would already be at school.

Here's the thing - if I want your opinion I'll ask for it. As in "Hey guys what color is this dress? It totally looks white and gold to me."

But if I'm posting a status about how I can't wait to see 'Fifty Shades of Grey' don't post something about how I'm a bad person and I'm supporting abuse. It's a freaking movie. If you don't like it, don't go see it. If I post a status about another snow day and my overall annoyance about winter in general don't try to start a debate with me about the safety of traveling in the snow.

I'm not going to play your stupid game.
And I'll just end up blogging about it.

I see status updates every single day on Facebook where I think "wow, I could really say something here" but I don't. You want to know why? Because I freaking have self control and I know that no good will come from me voicing my opinion when no one asked for it.

And yeah, I'm annoyed right now.

A good rule of thumb - if you wouldn't say it to someone in person then perhaps you shouldn't post it on Facebook. And if you would say it to someone in person perhaps you need to rethink how you interact with people.



Winter - The Halfway Mark

I read that today is the halfway point of winter - it's been winter for 45 days and there are 45 days until the first day of spring.

I'm currently sitting in my home office freezing. The furnace is set to 71. There is a foot of snow outside. And I'm sitting inside wearing a scarf and fuzzy socks. (This is in addition to my normal "work clothes - yoga pants and a shirt. I didn't want anyone to think I was just sitting here in a scarf and socks - because quite frankly that would be dumb. And horrible.)

I may have mentioned before that I hate winter?
I still do.

Winter Storm Linus visited us on Sunday. (Thank you to The Weather Channel for their increasingly stupid list of winter storm names). When it was all said and done we had about a foot of snow on the ground.

Yesterday the city was under a Level 3 snow emergency until noon - which means NO ONE could drive unless it was an emergency. The kids had yet another snow day. Today they had a 2-hour delay.

Tonight we're going to get MORE SNOW.
I'm anticipating at least a delay again tomorrow.

It should be noted that since the kids went back to school on January 5, they haven't had one full week of school. Not one.

And to add insult to injury, that stupid rodent in Pennsylvania predicted six more weeks of winter. Not that he's reliable AT ALL but it would have been nice to hear that an early spring was at least possible. Even if that news was delivered via a nasty rodent.

On the upside there are just 121 days until I'm once again in my second favorite place in the entire world - the OBX. In 121 days I'll be sipping frozen tropical drinks poolside while soaking up a crap ton of sun.

So...45 more days until the first 'official' day of spring?
I can do this. 


An Ode to January, Chapter 2: Seriously?

And here we are...January 21..and it's yet another snow day for the kids.

This is what it looks like outside today:

Scary stuff, right?
Yeah it's blowing and snowing and drifting and ....

No. It's not.
In fact I can still see the grass in my yard under ALL THE SNOW that isn't there.

We have maybe (MAYBE) 3/4 of an inch of new snow on the ground.


Some people are saying it's a bit slick outside on the roads thanks to "freezing drizzle" -- which I should mention isn't even showing up on the local radar. So I'm thinking the weather guy (who goes by the moniker "Blizzard Bill" ...no joke) is making it up.

Either way...less than an inch of new snow and temps forecast to be nearly above freezing today and once again the kids are at home, instead of at school. Last time I checked we still lived IN OHIO where snow isn't a shock in January. When I was a kid (and we walked three miles to school uphill both ways) school wasn't canceled unless there was at least a foot of snow and blizzard conditions.

But today? We cancel school for a dusting of snow presumably because the superintendents of the closed districts are attempting to maneuver snowy roads in a Yugo circa 1985.

As it is, I'm watching all the cars drive through my neighborhood with no trouble at all. And I'm also watching the passive aggressive comments appear on Facebook like "Well, I don't know about you, but I'm going to enjoy the day with my kids" as if to imply that I'm not going to enjoy the day with my own kids.

Guess what? I will enjoy having the kids home today but I would MUCH RATHER see them at school, learning. Especially since Olivia has a very important Common Core BS statewide test coming up. And as of right now they are at least FIVE DAYS behind with school work thanks to all these snow days.

The point of my rambling is this (yes Virginia, there is a point): A two-hour delay would have been sufficient. The local weather guys have been over-hyping winter since December. Less than an inch of snow should not = school closed. And we live in Ohio...so if they are calling for snow the city snow plow crews should get out there and pre-treat the roads and then plow the roads so that our kids can go to school.

Also, January...suck it.


An Ode to January: Why Do You Have to Be Such a Jerk?

If it wasn't for the fact that January is the birth month of BOTH of my kids (yay, good planning!), I would hate the entire 31 days that make up this frigid, snowy, b*tch of a month.

As it is, I ONLY love two days in January - the 9th and the 24th. Other than that the month of January can suck it.

Today is January 6.
It was supposed to be the kids' second day back to school after winter break.

I say "supposed to be" because after receiving a paltry 1 to 1 1/2 inches of snow last night (that's all you've got Mother Nature?) THEY CANCELLED SCHOOL TODAY.

Seriously folks.

We live in freaking NORTHWEST OHIO. It snows from NOW UNTIL JUNE and you're going to close schools around the area because there's a little snow on the ground???

I. Just. Can't.

It's not like this snow was unexpected. They've been forecasting it for days - the weather guys have been practically giddy with excitement about the prospect of SNOW! And yet, the city plows are nowhere to be seen.

Nary a plow has cleared my neighborhood all morning.
And yet, the roads are NOT impassable.
It's literally an inch of snow.
The sun is shining.
Sure, it's COLD outside.
But it's WINTER.
Put on a freaking snowsuit and clear the roads.

And now we have just 4 more snow days for the entire year.
Way to go school system.
Way. To. Go.

Dear January: Suck it.


2014 - A Year of Not Many Blog Posts

So here we are. December 31, 2014.

And, I really haven't blogged much at all this year.
I have no excuse other than I got lazy about my blog and I don't think anyone really noticed anyway.

But I digress.

2014 was a good year. Nothing too horrible happened aside from a never-ending winter and that whole Polar Vortex thing.

So let's do a little recap and remember the year.

I started out the year with a horrible case of strep throat and was essentially trapped in the house for days on end thanks to one of MANY snowstorms and that whole Polar Vortex nonsense. The girls celebrated their birthdays in January.

And it snowed.
A lot.

In fact I'm pretty sure all it did this year from January through April was snow. I'm still recovering from last winter.

No joke.

February was a slow month. I celebrated my 41st and continued to complain about the snow and cold despite the fact that people on Facebook didn't like it. Guess what? I didn't care then and I still don't care. If you don't like what I post on FB then do us both a favor and unfollow or unfriend me.

March was awesome in that I failed my penicillin challenge and discovered I am allergic to just about every antibiotic on the planet. Go big or go home I say.

March turned into April and the snow finally melted.
That was exciting.

Clearly nothing really exciting happened in May since I had one whopping blog post.

Yay me.

I have mad blogging skillz ya know.

June...finally summer was here.
We went to the OBX for an epic Chaos Party of 10 family vacation.

That was also the month where some jerk told me that food labels were FAKE and essentially made light of Olivia's food allergies. (In hindsight this was the start of a very bad trend I saw continue throughout the end of this year - people being stupid and insensitive about food allergies.)

July flew by and then it was August and we took the kids to Walt Disney World for an end-of-summer vacation. Then they went back to school. Oh and the month of August started out with the Toledo #watercrisis where we didn't have water for three whole days. It sucked. A lot.

September was 'meh' - nothing too exciting happened.

In October I saw just how stupid and insensitive people can be when it comes to Olivia's food allergies. November brought another food allergy episode with the same people. I have discovered at this point (December 31) that there's just no cure for stupid when it comes to the people involved.

December was OK .. the month really is a blur of school events, basketball games, dance lessons, and the like.

For 2015 I'm going to continue to advocate for Olivia and her food allergies, I promise I'll try to blog more even if no one is reading it, and I'm going to do my best to lose weight. These aren't resolutions, just things I plan on doing for the next 12 months.

Happy New Year to you!


There ARE Still Good People in the World

As a mom of a kid with food allergies I spend a lot of my time bemoaning the fact that there are A LOT of really stupid, insensitive JERKS out there who can't see past the end of their noses when it comes to keeping kids with food allergies safe while still INCLUDING THEM in events.

(Wow. LONG sentence there. Sorry.)

But sometimes - just sometimes - there are people who go out of their way to INCLUDE Olivia (and other food allergy kids) and I think it's VERY important to give those folks a very loud shout out.

Case in point: Tonight Olivia is going to her friend's house for a cookie decorating and pizza eating party. The friend's mom (who is also someone I consider a friend) always ALWAYS A.L.W.A.Y.S. makes it a point to ask me what is safe and what isn't safe when she's planning a party. Even if the food is something they always eat at this friend's house, my friend always double checks.

Today (when I told her she was awesome) she told me she feels very protective of Olivia and always wants her to be able to be included and not have to worry about her allergies when she should be having fun with her friends.

You guys.
To hear another mom say she is protective of my kid?
Holy Toledo.
There is so much awesome in that statement.
You. Have. No. Idea.

See, the holidays are a tough time for kids with food allergies. For Olivia the difficulty comes from the fact that the are nuts and peanuts EVERYWHERE. Some are out in the open and some are hidden but still present in cookies, candy, desserts, everywhere. It's frustrating for me as a parent to see her face when she realizes she can't have desserts. And it makes me sad when I have to say "no you can't eat that" like I did at her classroom party when an unknown parent sent in homemade cookies (I had no guarantee that they were safe, so they were off limits.)

Last night we went to the holiday dinner at my parents' country club and she couldn't eat ANY of the desserts - some had nuts in the or on them, but others (like chocolate covered Oreos) were off limits because the "chef" threw out the packaging on the chocolate so I couldn't see if there was an allergy warning. (Seriously "chef"? WTH.).

But in the end, Olivia ended up with a huge bowl of safe vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup so I think she made out better than the rest of us. Even still, she was once again singled out because of what she can't eat. And that sucks.

So when a parent makes it a point to include Liv....it's a big freaking deal.

[That was the point I was trying to make at this month's PTA meeting - that we need to INCLUDE ALL KIDS not EXCLUDE just a few. But that fell on deaf ears as was apparent when I was told I need to "step up" as a mom.]

Anyway....to everyone out there who makes it a point to include Olivia (and all the other food allergy kids in your life) THANK YOU. A million billion times - thank you.

And if your child wants to invite a friend over to your house and that friend has food allergies, be kind. Call the parents and ask what you can do to make that play date or birthday party fun and safe for all the kids.

Because sometimes, it really does take a village.


Back to My Regularly Scheduled Program

So I know it's ONLY December 15 (yeah, only) but I'm already making a New Year's resolution - I need to blog more.

I go to bed each night with all these bloggy ideas running through my head but since my JOB that pays me REAL MONEY is all about the writing of many, many words every day the last thing I think about at the end of the day is this blog. (I'm sorry blog. It's not you, it's me.)

So I'll try to do better next year. Hell, maybe I'll even do the NaBloPoMo in January where I write a post every single day. We'll see how I feel on January 1.


Here's what's happening in my fishbowl lately.

First, I have to say this: I am so sick and freaking tired of people who are assholes about food allergies.

I said it.

And I'll say it again, this time with feeling:
Stop being an asshole when it comes to food allergies.

Don't tell me that I need to "step it up" and bring my own food to school events. Because if there's one thing food allergy parents do EVERY SINGLE DAY it's step up. We spend our days worrying about our kids and what they're eating and what their friends are eating at the lunchroom table and if we're going to get THAT CALL from the school telling us our kid is having an allergic reaction.

So don't freaking tell me to step up. And don't tell me that the note sent to all the room moms at school with a "safe snack" list isn't relevant to you because your kid doesn't have a classmate with food allergies. It's called food allergy education you cold-hearted dimwit so maybe you need to educate yourself on just how serious (and deadly) food allergies are because I guarantee one of these years your kid WILL have a classmate with food allergies and if you're educated you won't seem like such an asshole.

And when I post something on my Facebook page about peanut butter and how I think it should be banned in classrooms with peanut allergy kids, don't tell me I'm wrong. Because you know what? I'm not wrong. I'm 1000% right and it isn't something that is up for debate. Your kid won't die if they don't eat peanut butter but my kid could die if she does. So shut the hell up already.

[Wow. I feel like a million times better right about now. I guess I needed that mini-rant.]

Next, today was one of those days where I wasn't sure how things were going to end up.

See, I got a phone call last week telling me that my annual mammogram had "differences" when compared to last year's scan and I needed to come back for a second diagnostic mammogram. Not the phone call any woman wants to hear if I'm being totally honest.

And so I spent the better part of the past week wondering what the hell was going on. And I will admit I did a few self exams in the process just to make sure I didn't feel anything weird. I Googled "follow-up mammogram" and "second mammogram" and various other search terms. I WedMD'd it. (I also just made WedMD a verb but whatever). And I tried to keep telling myself to stop worrying so much already.

Today was my "diagnostic screening." I took my mom with me.

After sitting in a tiny little nook wearing only a pink "cape" and my jeans for nearly 30 minutes, I was finally called into a screening room. (While I'm on the subject...let's talk about this pink cape. Seriously people. Can you give a girl a little dignity please? "Take off everything from the waist up and put on this pink cape that ONLY ties at the neck and flies open at the slightest movement so that you have to cross your arms in front of you lest you flash the next person who walks by." Yeah. So totally awesome. They could at least toss us Mardi Gras beads as they walk by.)

Anyway....I had an awesome tech (is that what they're called?) doing the screening. She explained what they were looking for (HELLO??? Why can't they tell you that when they call you???? Would have saved a lot of anxiety!!) and she even showed me the two scans so I could compare them.

Long story short: calcifications were the issue and they were microscopic (and actually had to be magnified in the scans). And from last week to this week a few of them even seemed to disappear. The radiologist said I need to come back in six months for another mammogram but that it wasn't anything to worry about.

Huge. Exhale. Here.

So my takeaway is this: get your mammogram ladies. NOW.

And that my friend is what's happening in my fishbowl right now. Only 10 more days 'til Christmas and for the first time in forever I'm not feeling totally overwhelmed or stressed about the holiday. I'm sure that will change soon.


Sometimes It's the "Small" Things That Make a Difference

It's been one of those days.

You know, the kind where you already feel like a chicken with its head cut off running around like a madwoman trying to get everything done and then you get a phone call telling you that you need to come in for a second mammogram next week because the radiologist noticed a change from last year's mammogram and how does Monday at 9:30 work for you?

That's the kind of day I'm having.

I freaked out about the whole second mammogram thing for about 10 minutes then I called my mom and my husband and texted my sister. And Googled it. And now I'm better. (Yes, I did Google "second mammorgram" because that's how I roll. Move on.)

I also might have eaten a bowl of ice cream for lunch.
But don't tell anyone.
It's our little secret.

Then the FexEx truck stopped in front of my house and delivered this:

Yes my friends. It's finally here.

My Erin Condren life planner has arrived.
I can now plan my life for 2015.
And this little delivery from FedEx made me day.
Go figure. 

In this all-digital age it might seem silly to some to be SO FREAKING EXCITED about a paper calendar but OHMYGOSHYOUGUYS I'm totally excited.

I love calendars.
I love writing things down.
I can't keep track of my life on my iPhone's calendar.
I. Just. Can't.

But this beauty?
Oh hells yes.
Bring on the planning.
I even bought all new colorful pens.
I'm weird like that.

[And just in case anyone out there is considering ordering their very own life planner, I have a really cool "refer a friend" code: https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/tracicurth0212]

Oh and just because, here's a little disclaimer: No one asked me to write this post about my new life planner. I'm just really excited about it and wanted to share my day with all of you. You're welcome. :) 

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go fill in my life planner.


Elf on the Shelf Returns

So, Walt is back.

Walt would be our Elf on the Shelf. The bane of my holidays. The elf sized thorn in my side.

You get the idea.

I don't like the elf. He only exists to taunt me and challenge me to remember to move his freaky little self every night. Because you know, I don't have enough things to remember. Now I have to remember to move the elf and keep the magic alive.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Look, I'm not a Grinch.

But I honestly want to punch someone in the face every year when Walt returns. Specifically the genius who thought a $30 creepy elf was a good idea for keeping kids in check during the holidays. I was doing just fine on my own up until a few years ago thankyouverymuch.

But no. Everyone (OK, not everyone...but a lot of unfortunate souls) have been dragged into this whole Elf on the Shelf debacle.

There are Pinterest boards dedicated to "fun and creative" things to do with/for your elf.

Make it stop.

I consider it a win when I remember to move the damn thing before the kids wake up in the morning. There's no way in hell that I'm going to add powdered sugar, mini marshmallows, or toilet paper crafts into the mix.

Our elf is very, very boring. You can normally find him hanging off the 7-foot-tall Eiffel Tower in our living room, or sitting in a bowl in the dining room, or lounging on a wreath in the bathroom. That's about it. Sometimes we get crazy and he hangs in a stocking all day.

Last week the husband forgot to move the elf and the kids were dismayed to find him still in the bathroom, still sitting on a wreath, still creepy. So I made the executive decision to MOVE THE ELF DURING THE DAY. And when the kids were outside I moved Walt to another room.

Let's just say the kids were freaked out. "HOW CAN WALT MOVE DURING THE DAY??!?!?!"

Kids, I have no idea. Maybe he has his days and nights mixed up.

Thankfully the elf has corrected that problem. Then the other day we had the brilliant idea to have Walt deliver a Lego Advent calendar to the kids.

Now they want more gifts from Walt. "Dear Walt - Do you think you can bring us another present?"

Um, not likely.

Emma wrote Walt a note last night asking if he knew "Diamond" - the Elf that has taken up residence in her 2nd grade classroom.

"Walt" responded that he "doesn't know Diamond" but he "has seen her at Santa's Workshop." As I re-read that sentence this morning I realized that I had inadvertently turned Diamond into a stripper Elf on the Shelf who works at a strip club named 'Santa's Workshop.' Oops.

It's funny if you think about it.

The kids have drafted yet another letter to Walt with more questions. I think perhaps Walt might show up with his arm in a sling tomorrow morning so that he can't write any more notes.

On the bright side, I only have to remember to move the stupid little elf for three more weeks.