Saturday, May 12, 2012

Carol's Poetry Final

When it came time for me to present my poerty for my creative writing II class, the majority of student had already left for their next class. So I didn't get the feedback that I would have liked on my poems. If you'd like to read them and give me an honest opinion, I'd welcome your comments.

Here goes...

Out of the Mist

    By Carol A. Malone

He stands beyond my reach in mist,
       prison bar gray

Ashen clouds swirl around feet mired
                  in granite clay

Iron smoke holds quick to mistakes
        of the past

Dark dew on demon’s cords
                  bind hands fast

Buried deep in silvered sands
        of blood’s addiction

Cannot see clearly, cannot reach
                   out for him

No ability to see through
       dependency’s mire

Through murky bogs craving
                 dopamine’s fire

Weary of the future,
         afraid to succeed,

Unable to quit,
                habit’s lips must feed

He drinks despair,
          smokes desperation

Until the law says no more,
                make reparation

Lift eyes from shadowed
         vapor’s eclipse

Move through veiled fog
                  from drug’s claws slip

Reach . . . reach up through
        tattered charcoal gray

Begin hands to trust,
                knees bend to say

I’ve overcome, conquered,
       thrown off the shroud

Transcended the past,
                the addictive crowd

Someone out there,
        stands beyond the mist

Thrown out ropes
                gave one last assist.

Pulled to higher ground
        freedom mine at last

Forgive thyself,
                 forget the past

Off with the metal gray
        shackles thrown

Out of dirty misty haze,
                   he emerges  - reborn.

Peppermint Twist
  by Carol A. Malone

You swept into my life

                      cotton candy on a stick

A gumdrop glance from

                    chocolate cream eyes

Cherry kisses from

                       red hot lips

Left me craving

                        like a wide-eyed child

Face pressed to sugared glass

                     sour-ball sucker in my mouth.

When the day your love

                     took a peppermint twist

Now all your sweet words,

           give me a stomach ache.

The Nut- A Haiku 
by Carol A. Malone

When you look at me
            you see the shell of a nut.
Do you see the meat?

Don't Hate Me
    by Carol A. Malone

Don't hate me because my view
                         is different from you

The world tells women to be liberal

The world says kids are unviable

Women see men as the enemy

The world views me as adversary

I perceive children as desirable

I view women as strong, immovable

I see men as counterpart

I view the world as torn apart

You’ll hate me because my view
                       is different from you

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Diet and Other Four Letter Words

Do you know any of these people or programs? Yes? Then you'll experience the confusion right along with me.
Mark Hyman, M.D.
The Bigger Loser Club
Kim Lyons
Isabel De Los Rios
Mike Geary
Jon Dana Benson
Coach Josh
Joel Marion
Jayson Hunter
Coach Jesse Cannone
Rob Poulos
Biggest Loser
Kyle Leon
Dr. Kareem F. Samhouri
Dr. Oz
Dr. Travis Stork
The Pink Solution
Vince Del Monte

Are you as disillusioned as I am and feel that the start of the New Year sucks--I mean as far as making those resolutions to lose weight and get in shape. Year after year I make the same resolution. Get healthy. Lose weight. Look like a normal human. Believe it or not, I actually had a year like that. The only good year--2008. 2008 was great. (You can read about my weight loss journey from my earlier posts.)

What happened to me? I was eating healthy, thanks toWeight Watchers. I exercised for hours a day, thanks to Contours, a women's gym that has since hit the skids and gone away. I was doing everything right. Then I hit the Christmas wall. I hadn't learned how to handle Christmas. The worst thing though, I became the cooking culprit and undermined my own success. By the New Year 2009, I upped twenty pounds.

Then 2009 struck and sucked the life right out of me. I'm not going to elaborate the problems with 2009, there isn't enough space in this post. But 2009 was my cancer year. But the end, I'd gained back another twenty pounds by operation time and after laying in bed for months, I tacked on another twenty, by the end of 2009.

2010 wasn't the greatest year either. I quit Weight Watchers. (I hated watching the scales and my weight go up and up.) I was a weight watcher all right. Up, up and away. I couldn't keep paying to have my weight increase. 2011 wasn't much better. In April my dad passed away. The grief of his passing, my struggles with editing my first novel and my inability to lose weight added to personal financial woes and . . . boom, the scale continued to climb. Explode actually. Not only that, I broke out with a bad case of hives and they and the weight gain continued to plague my year.

Now I face a big empty New Year. What to do? Of course all my doctors are expecting me to shed those unwanted pounds. (Side bar: have you ever, and I mean ever, known anyone who had WANTED pounds? A rhetorical question.)

But my questions is HOW?

And that brings me to my current dilemma. How to choose a good program.

Have you ever had trouble finding the right diet or life style program that doesn't cost as much as a Lear jet or force you into the gym to pump iron for hours or run on a tread mill for mile after monotonous mile? Well if you're one of those people, I sympathize. I've been bombarded with email ads for this diet and that. Boy, you sign up for one to try and every exercise guru from California to New York City jumps on your case, touting that their program is designed to make you into a bikini babe in a couple of weeks.

What's worse is that they have a sharing system where one exercise guru tells another one about you until your email inbox looks like the Who's Who of the diet and exercise industry. I tell you, this is no easy decision deciding who has the best program that can be tailored to me and my physical restraints and needs.

Do I know the answers? Heck no. I want answers like the rest of you. I want a diet/life style change that isn't going to be too hard to follow. I don't want craziness. I don't want to forsake ice cream, candy, bread, crackers, chips, pancakes, potatoes or any other bad carbs. I want sensible. Or am I deluded myself into thinking a life style change can include junk?

Okay. At one time or another I've listened to all of the diet grurus. Somehow I got hooked up with Tony Hortonand his P90X. One look at the program and I shut it back up in the box. I'm fifty six years old, bad knees, way over weight. This thing's for young people.

So I ordered Jon Dana Bensen's Every Other Day Diet. I'm sure it's a wonderful program, but it was just a little too weird for me. Eating nothing but a grass and whey shake for breakfast and an apple and a handful of almonds for lunch. Then the next day, the shake and for lunch--BAM! you can go hog wild. I just didn't have the stamina to stay on the everyday bit. No offense Jon.I'm sure your program has served many well. Those people who are already a size two.

There must be an exercise guru co-op somewhere because each one of these gurus promote the others.With all their enthusiasm it all looks wonderful, exciting and the easiest thing you've ever done. What they say is so attractive I couldn't help but be sucked into their spiel. Right after they wow me with their examples of people who've shed thousands of pounds, you hit me with the bottom line. It's going to cost me and cost me plenty.

Their simple program with their fifteen thousand steps isn't enough. Books on diet, recipes, calculating daily intake, mind transformation, motivation, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah. That's enough reading for about three years.

But wait! There's more!

Their initial offering isn't enough, there's always one more thing to entice me into buying their COMPLETE program and only their program. And you have to have the rest. Training. Recipe specific books. Motivation books. Other manuals. How to train. Videos. Meal plans. Etc. Etc. Etc. By the time your basic $47 to $97 program is finished, you've spent close to $500.00 and the programs are so drastic, there is no way in this world a regular person like me can stay on them.

I can't squat, pushup, jump around or crunch. I'm old. Give me exercises I can do. I have sciatic nerve pain in one foot. I can hardly walk some days. I've got a compressed disk between four and five. Whatever that means. So I'm not doing your extreme workouts.

And when they're finished roping you in, they send you emails introducing yet another guru's program in the hopes that you'll to buy that as well. Each email to you is another offer. Flat abs. Burn belly fat. Washboard abs without crunches, etc. Instead of losing weight safely, with an exercise program I can follow, I'm spending money I can't afford to spend for a program or dozens of programs that aren't geared for me.

I took a test to see if I was sluggish and run down. Hello? You have the metabolism of a 200 year old woman. Mark Hyman, M.D. recommends his program at only $396.00 per month. It's called the UltraSimple Diet Enhanced program. Do I look like I'm made of money? Maybe that's how they get you to lose pounds. They lighten your wallet.

Even the TV Doctors, Stork
and Ozhave their own personal program. Just sign on the old bottom line, or enter your credit card numbers and you're as good as bikini ready. They're ripping my mind apart with their promises, their come-ons and declarations that promise a new you in six weeks.

Who wouldn't like to look like Ashley of the Biggest Loser or have her success?

Weight Watchers is great, but does it really teach me what to eat at any given time, how much and the right combinations? What about The Biggest Loser? Do I look like I could do those exercises in a gym 24/7?

I just don't know anymore. I wish there was a magic diet genie who could outline a modified lifestyle, that doesn't forbid a splurge once in awhile, that has exercises for my physical limitations, that says when to eat and what and how much. Can there be such a person or system or program or suggestions that don't require that I turn over my entire pay check to them every two weeks? Oh, stop the insanity. (Say, isn't that an exercise program?) Well, never mind, I'm not doing it.

Finding the right path for me will required some dedicated research. It may not happen right away. But the one thing I know, is that I don't want to die wearing enough weight to equal another person. My feet are getting really tired of dragging around that extra gal. It's time to let her find someone else to hang off of. So if you have a program you'd like me to evaluate--keep it to yourself.