7 Humiliatingly Slow Takes with Huffing and Puffing Afterward

1.  I don’t know how successfully I’ve hidden this in the few photos of myself that I’ve put online, but I am 5’5″ and in the last fifteen years, I’ve put on average of seven pounds of permanent weight for each baby.  This is what happens when all you do is sit down.

2.  I was having stabbing pain, excruciating burning from my lower back down to my toes, tingling, numbness, and general unpredictable sciatic misery, which finally sent me to the doctor, because I couldn’t believe that I could become that debilitated just from doing nothing.  The x-ray revealed that I have “mild to moderate degeneration” between the discs of my spine, brought on by age, weight gain, and inactivity, or, in layman’s terms, being a loser.  I am adding that phrase,  “mild to moderate degeneration,” to my list of possible new names for the new blog I’ll never start.  Other possibilities I’ve gathered over the years include what Mark Shea called me one time (“History’s Greatest Monster”), what an outraged reader told my editor (“Fisher Is Unrepentant!”), and what my mechanic wrote about the van (“Misfires Badly Under Any Significant Load”).

3.  A sad little drama recently played out in a shopping plaza nearby.  First there was nothing but a Curves Gym.  Then Five Guys Burger and Fries moved in next door.  Curves held out for a while, but one day the windows went dark, and they packed up and moved away, presumably shaking their chubby fists in rage, with an embarrassing amount of flappy movement around the upper arm area, as they went.  And then, in the space where Curves used to be, Rick’s Gourmet Ice Cream moved in.

4.  This is not going to become one of those tedious blogs that does nothing but record how many reps or grams or kilos or whatever (wait, I think I’m talking about cocaine now) of cardio I accomplished and which variety of kale I like to add to my puke smoothie.  (Sorry, I just friggin hate the whole smoothie thing.  You still have teeth, people.  Use ’em.)  I will try not to make a big deal out of it unless I think it would be genuinely interesting to someone besides myself and my doctor.

5.  I picked out an exercise DVD that looked like a reasonable place to start.  Today, I did it for the first time, and had two shocks:  one is that it’s designed for senior citizens; and two, it wasn’t easy to keep up.  Argh.  Yep, ol’ Jane Fonda is going on and on about her titanium hip and how great it is that we’re doing so much to combat memory loss, and I’m screaming on the inside “ISN’T TWENTY MINUTES UP YET, YOU HOLLOW CHEEKED BITCH?”

6.  I used to be able to run five miles.  Cursing the whole way, but still, I used to be able to do it.  Now, I can’t even curse for five miles straight, running or not.  I don’t even have profanity stamina anymore.

7.  In the week that has passed since I wrote #1-6, I have put off reading what Pope Francis said about people who complain about 73 distinct times. Because look,  I got the flu, which meant that I was too weak and feverish to do my back exercises, which meant that I couldn’t sleep because of back pain, which meant that the baby decided this would be a fine time to give up sleeping.  Like, just quit, flat out.  She goes to bed at the normal time, but wakes up at 1:30, ready to play.  The next two hours are spent with constructive thoughts like, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME” and “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FUNCTION” and “I THINK I HAVE TWO FRIENDS NAMED LYDIA BUT MAYBE ONLY ONE I’M NOT SURE ABOUT THAT BECAUSE THERE IS THAT ONE LYDIA BUT THEN THERE IS THAT OTHER ONE ALSO AND THAT MAKES TWO BUT ON THE OTHER HAND I’M NOT SURE HOW MANY FRIENDS I HAVE NAMED LYDIA.”  (See, fever.)  Then I went to throw up, but my back hurt too much to reach the toilet.  Also, I took a shower and it turned out the soap had a bug on it, and I was washing myself with bug.

And THAT’S why I say sometimes it’s okay to just go through your medicine chest and see what you can find.  Because, sheesh.

For someone with real problems, NOT brought on by being a loser, check out our 7 Quick Takes host, Jen Fulwiler.


  1. Werrrd, Simcha – that’s just hiLARious!! I mean, er: I’m sorry to hear that so many things have conspired to aggravate you in various ways. Your honesty and tongue-in-cheek style help me laugh at myself and see what’s actually important (love, hope, faith, etc.)

  2. I ended up with the surgery to correct slipped discs. Of course my version of it was “The worst case I’ve seen in 20 years”, as noted by my physical therapist in California. I told him to stop talking now.

    Anyway, the surgery was great and I’m back to 95%. I can’t carry my backpack on my back… which will also include baby packs, which kind of makes me sad. But we’ll be fine.

  3. I am so sorry you are so miserable! I have to say I have had those rants inside my own head, and sometimes some uncharitable thoughts about how the husband gets to leave whenever he wants and sleep whenever he wants (mostly as I am up with a baby who also has decided that playing at 2 is acceptable and I hear him snoring away). I feel like a loser most days too, but I’m choosing to ignore it for now. I only have two midgets and much more weight gain. My loss plan is chasing them and stuffing my face with whatever is in sight since that is all I have the energy and mental acuity for most days. I am shocked that I haven’t lost a thing. Shocked!

    Thanks for always being so bluntly and amusingly honest! I’m curious as to why Mark referred to you as History’s Greatest Monster, but I assume it would make me giggle. I look forward to any of those blogs to add some humor to my day. You are definitely on my top 5 blogs list (of people I don’t know – in case they are reading your comments, clearly I read them faithfully!).

  4. About 25 years ago, I had the same reaction to Jane Fonda, who was old even then and disgustingly lithe. (It was so long ago that I was not using an exercise video, but an exercise *LP*) — Buns of Steel, I think. Even back then she was pretty old (I was about 30, and the record was for old, out-of-shape women). I remember at one point during the torture, she called out joyfully “hot cross buns!” and I shrieked back “You f&*#* B!&^@, I’m going to kill you!” Sometime shortly thereafter, I’m pretty sure the garbage truck ran over the LP and left it in shards.

  5. I got to “I was washing myself with bug” and started laughing so hard that I think it qualifies as a workout for today!

  6. I hate the smoothing thing too. And kale.
    And the paragraph about how many friends named Lydia you have was terrific.

  7. Just TRY to chew uncooked kale in your breakfast cereal — for multiple years straight. You will run screaming to the joy of just chugging it and getting it out of the way– yet still getting the immediate health benefit of choking it down.

    Besides, there’s less hesitation and it doesn’t take me an added 20 minutes of willpower to face green things in my cereal. Yes, the way my health is, I MUST have kale in the morning, or I am ill by evening. It’s perverse.

  8. Ha, Beadboy2 tortured me for one week by waking up around midnight or 1 and not falling back asleep until 5, just in time for Beadboy1 to wake up for the day. By the fifth night I was borderline psychotic (I got into an hour-long fight with my cell phone because it would not stop torturing me by buzzing every few minutes and I was too out of it to see that it needed to be recharged, which was why it was buzzing), and, with tears in my eyes, stumbling over my words, I begged my husband to please wake up around three to let me sleep for just a couple of hours. He said no because really needed 8 hours of sleep to function the next day. I STILL have not forgiven him for that.

    I hope you found something good in your medicine cabinet.

  9. My husband bought me Carmen Electra’s striptease workout video as a joke back when we were young. It wasn’t as funny as he thought it would be. And I don’t know if your doctor recommended it, but you’d be an ideal candidate for decompression therapy which would help your back and give you something weird to write about.

  10. 1. I love you.
    2. Misery can love company, so reading a version of my life over the past week comforting. My family had norovirus. I hallucinated about statistical analysis. My youngest, who is just a couple months older than yours, has been waking up to nurse/chew with sharp little teeth and won’t go back to sleep. I’ll pray for Bennie. Will you pray for Ryan?
    3. Maybe your illness will jump start weight loss?
    4. God made kale! It must have redeeming qualities. 🙂

  11. Thirty years ago I made a mess of my back – mostly through lugging big children around. I was headed for spinal fusion surgery until as a last resort I was encouraged to try Inversion Therapy – yeah hanging up side down from the ankles. It worked. For twenty years I would hang each morning for from 15 to 20 minutes – reading. My back went from useless to being stronger than ever and my upper body strength also improved. Yes I do have many amusing anecdotes about this but hey I’m 70 now and I’ve still got a good strong back – and a full head of hair which some have attributed to inversion supplying plenty of blood to that part of me. Inversion therapy reverses gravity and allows one’s own body weight to stretch and restore the proper amount of tissue in the discs. Check it out Simcha.

  12. I prefer chewing, but am forcing myself to suck down protein smoothies as a quick way to get in veggies.

    Do. The. Exercises. They help.

    thanks for making us all laugh with your “biggest loser” moment….not laughing AT you, but WITH you (presuming you are laughing)….b/c I can truly relate!

    Blessings to a stronger back!! and sleeping baby!!

  13. One of my friends told me that 5 years after your last child, your stomach and back muscles miraculously return. Now I keep thinking “Well, why bother exercising? I’ll probably just be pregnant in a few months anyway…..”

  14. Have you seen ‘Kid History: Healthy Eating’ on YouTube? Because “I made you guys a smooothieeee!” is what I thought of when I read #4.

  15. I just happen to be in Amishtown PA for our semiannual pilgimmage to the house of the pig god. Not that these aren’t the nicest people on God’s green earth. But the only reason to really come here are the buffets. I particularly like the homemade bread and butter pickles. But being here took on a whole new flavor after reading this post. I’m actually eating within the bounds of moderation. Much more will be needed before I reach my target weight. Ordinarily I would despair. But I’m seeing a change in my geshtalt – something new is happening. After dinner at Millers, we repaired to adjoining hotel rooms where 3 adults and 3 children ripped through the meanest prayer and praise/healing session I’ve experienced in a long time. My 7 year old was preaching from the bed and thumping his (my) bible. I was astounded by the stirring of the Holy Spirit. Could never have happened a few years ago. I would have been floundering like a beached whale. Or whatnot.

  16. I’m more of a loser than you. I’ve gained seven pounds per kid, but I only have seven (two less than you, right?). However, I am 5’8″, so maybe that evens out our loser-ness. A fitness temple was built around the corner which I could actually walk to, but who wants to exercise with a bunch of skinny blondes in sports bras? Plus, my husband called many times last summer to complain about the obnoxious music and hyped, microphoned cheerleader leading the “Combat” classes outside. Oooh, it was ugly. I’d rather be fat than betray my husband by joining the enemy. So I resort to long walks (as in, “Kids, I’m taking your mother for a walk!” from my husband who has only gained 2.8 lbs per kid and started out skinny, but not blonde). I have some very good weeks, even months; then I fall off the wagon. I never talk about food since I am so very, very, very, very, very sick of “carb talk” from skinny marathon runners (who used to be 100lbs overweight, but saw the light in their sports bras and running shoes). I figure red wine and moving to France is my only remedy.

  17. Would this be the wrong time to announce to the world how happy I am to have lost over 20 pounds in the last few months? Darn it, now I feel guilty for laughing like a maniac while reading about your troubles!

    Anyway, hope you feel better soon and kick that skinny witch Jane Fonda’s shapely behind!

  18. This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. And you know it wouldn’t be funny if I were laughing AT and not WITH you. Thanks for making the regular travails of life and motherhood so hilarious; you have really jump-started my day ( I laugh every time I think of the bug!). 🙂

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