fuzzy memories, extra wide

For as long as I can remember, feet have been a part of my identity. To put my way through college, I was a shoe-salesman.

When I was younger, I was pretty pigeon-toed (which I just learned is also called "false clubfoot, egads). It was prett significant, to the point where I had to wear corrective shoes. I don't remember much about them, but they were sturdy. My older sisters lovingly chided me about them, and called them my "clod-hoppers."

I don't think I knew what clod-hoppers were (I still don't, I resisted the urge to wikipedia them as a sign of solemn protest to the afflicted), but I knew that I was the butt of a joke. My sisters stopped calling them clod-hoppers when they were assaulted with three pounds of solid rubber.

After I graduated from my hot orthopedic shoes, I used to proudly proclaim my triumph over being false clubfooted. I even confused the severity of the condition with some other, more real parts of my childhood.

Before I was born, my older brother Tim was hit by a car. The accident left him confined to a wheelchair, and he did have shoes, or some type of leg braces with a metal bar in between the shoes connecting at the arches of the feet. Somehow, in my post-clod-hopper daze, I was convinced that Tim's shoes with the metal brace were actually mine, to cure me of being pigeon toed. I used to tell people that my condition was so severe that I had to wear a metal bar between my legs. People used to feel really sorry for me, and impressed that I had overcome such severe disadvantages in life.

All these feelings came swirling back to me as I look at George's adorable feet. Last week George and Ashley were visiting Grandma & Grandpa Potter, and Grandma took George to a very nice children's shoe store. I'm ashamed to admit, but we had essentially been confining George's poor feet to some crude brogans in what can only be described as modern day foot-binding.

Ok, it wasn't that bad, but... he was wearing shoes that were too small for him. Poor little guy. At the shoe store they measured George's feet and out came the results: 6.5. Extra wide. I don't know what it is, but the "extra wide" rings through my head, summoning images of pigeon toes, metal braces, John Elway, etc. It's likely that this is just common sizing issue with little chubby feet.

But what if it's a part of his identity for his entire life? What if he always has to wear birkenstock sandals? What if he's an incredible swimmer because of his flipper like feet?

I'm under no illusion that having extra wide feet will be something George has to think about beyond toddlerhood, or that it's even atypical. But, I do like the idea of learning little things about this guy, things he comes into the world with. Things he can't change. Maybe he'll invent a story that explains his extra wide feet, and how he went on to become a world class tap-dancer, or soccer player?

I hope I get to discover more of these things about him - and I hope for his unborn siblings sake, they don't tease him about it or they might find themselves on the receiving end of toy-projectile.

Be proud George. Stand tall. Stand tall on those extra wide feet of yours. I love you buddy.


me and mr. mendoza

I like this picture because it represents my relationship with the scale. I shout profanities at it every morning.

Just kidding. Actually - I've been relatively successful with dieting in the past little bit and the issue has been on my mind so I thought I'd put a few ideas together.

First. For the first time since my sophomore year in high school, I'm below the mendoza line for weight. Just barely - 199. I'm not sure what my end goal is, though I've said many times to Ashley that 195 was my ultimate goal. I'm on the high end of "normal" according to this BMI calculator thing.

But then I started playing around with the figures a little bit, and I found out that I could dip down to a svelte 155 and still be "normal." Sick. I cannot even imagine what a 6'4" 155 lb David would look like. Oh wait... yes I can.

That got me thinking... there has to be some other factors than BMI that are better at predicting health. Blood pressure? Cholesterol levels? Heart rate? I dunno, probably a lot of those things. Or maybe none of them. This is an interesting graphic that said for me, a white male (as I age), that heart disease is my biggest health nemesis. So - I feel good about that. I'm doing good in the heart health category.

I was listening to a freakonomics podcast where one guy was essentially arguing that the obesity "epidemic" has been vastly, and hastily over-rated. In it, some smug academic does some research and finds out that a lot of the figures being used derives from old data, or blah blah blah some other type of shortcoming that questions the connections between obesity and health maladies.

I didn't find it particularly convincing - basically because I think it's fodder for people to convince themselves that they don't have to make lifestyle changes to become more healthy. I think a lot of my negative feelings towards obesity, derive in self loathing from when I was heavier. Its like I have to hate that person to never become him again.

If you want something really harrowing, look at the CDC's obesity figures by state, from 1985 to 2008.

Ever since I began losing weight in 2004, I have to admit I've been somewhat obsessed with the topic of weight loss. Ashley gets mad at me when I want to watch the "one ton man" shows on TV. For some reason, I feel like I need to watch those shows to prevent some type of relapse. I am afraid of gaining the weight I began to lose six years ago.

Most recently - this year I found myself about 20 lbs heavier than where I wanted to be, so I began watching my diet a lot more closely. I try not to eat sweets during the week, and I've also been skipping breakfast. Say what you will about breakfast (ok, I lied, I usually have a lump of cookie dough and a swig of milk), I think it's personally over-rated unless you are gonna go really decadent and even then that's not a once a day type thing.

So in about 4 months time I've lost most the weight I wanted to, with basic diet choices and consistent exercise.

This is just a smattering of stuff I've been thinking about. Do any of you guys think about this stuff? Do any of you have experiences, successes or failures with this type of stuff? For me it seems like I have to err on the side of zealotry to keep weight off. When I get relaxed, the clothes get a little snug.


the great blueberry caper of twenty ten

"Blueberries? I haven't seen any blueberries. I don't know what you are talking about blueberries. Do I look like I know anything about blueberries?"

"Ok, I swear. I just had one. Two tops. I got them from over there. In that big box. They were basically pushed on me. Forced. I was forced to eat them. Did you see the guy? He practically begged me to do it."

"I regret nothing."