In keeping with my theory that you learn more from your failures than your successes, this is what I’ve learned on the path to failing with weight watchers.


I began my weight watchers commitment by drinking smoothies for breakfast.   Add spinach to blender, frozen fruit, almond milk, and 1 tbsp. coconut oil, because I read coconut oil was a superfood.    After calculating the points of this smoothie, I realized that 9 points is probably too much for breakfast and discovered an egg mcmuffin is actually 8 points.  I had to plan a little better.  Next morning I made a smoothie with water, abandoned all thoughts of coconut oil, too many fat and calories.  Smoothie is now spinach, frozen fruit and water.  Chew smoothie.


Social events are my biggest downfall with the weight watchers plan.  At home, calculating points is easy.  When I have to have meals away from home however I find it stressful, and impossible to succeed at the plan.  So when I had a fundraiser come up, I knew that I had to plan ahead.   Following the recommended advice of weight watchers for planning ahead, I discovered that the meal was to be served family style and consist of roast chicken and potatoes, salad and pasta.  No problem.  This is actually a bonus because it’s family style so I can serve myself the portions to stay on plan, I can save my weekly points, make some lighter choices for the day, and skip the bread basket. I will limit myself to one glass of wine and alternate with sips of water to make my wine last longer.  The plan is in place.

The reality of the aforementioned event, and plan, is as follows.  The first course arrived in the form of a creamy Italian soup with I think was sausage and potatoes.  I passed on the soup.  I watched my slim women friends at my table devour the soup, they encouraged me to try a little bit, but I held firm, confident in my plan.  I realized my friend beside me was on her third bowl.  I drank a glass of water to quell the grumbling in my stomach due to having only eaten a 1/2 cup of yogurt with fruit for breakfast, and a salad for lunch. I cursed myself for not considering the probability for the lateness of the dinner.  I made idle chit chat trying not to sip my wine so I could have it with my meal.  The pasta course arrived in the form of lasagna.  I hadn’t accounted for this.   My anxiety level climbed as I watched the platter passed around the table, each person taking a large piece and placing it on their plate, the cheese stretching between the platter and plate, sauce dripping.  I was quickly trying to calculate the points, and make a decision regarding this unforeseen dilemma.  When the platter reached my husband he presented it to me to take a piece, feeling brilliant I cut a piece in half and slid it to my plate, deciding that I should probably calculate this as 10 points.  Just to be sure.  The bread basket was handed to me and I resisted the crusty italian bread and passed it to my husband.  Buoyed by my positive choice I sipped my wine savouring the flavour as it complimented the lasagna.  I was feeling confident.  I excused myself to the washroom, my calculated 9 cups of water were catching up to me.  When I returned to the table however, I realized that my 1/2 glass of wine that I had carefully metered out in careful sips to last the entire dinner was now a full glass of wine.  I had calculated with much debate with my husband that the original glass of wine would have been 5 ounces.  Erring on the side of caution.  I turned to my husband and demanded in a hushed tone who filled my glass up, assuming it was him.  He shrugged and returned to his conversation, oblivious to my dilemma.  I decided that I didn’t want to be fretting over a couple more ounces of wine and decided to count my wine intake to 2 glasses.   Just in time for the main course, roast chicken and potatoes and salad.  I felt slightly relieved, this I knew how to count.  I took a small chicken thigh, passing over the legs and breasts justifying that the legs don’t have much meat and the breasts could have too much and if I took the thigh meat off the bone it was probably about 3 ounces.  I felt fearless.  No potatoes for me thank you, the pasta was enough.  Salad, 0 points.  Superiority washed over me as the giant bowl of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes was passed to me.  As I lifted the salad tongs it became apparent that this salad was previously tossed with oil and vinegar, the oil lay on the leaves in streaky rivers.  Superiority gave way to the mental anxiety of realizing that I would have to calculate the points for this betrayal from the kitchen.  I quickly dropped two scoops of salad onto the plate and fought back the urge to stab my friend, who was complaining that no bread was given with this course and trying to coerce her husband into finding her some bread.  At this point I have the overwhelming feeling that I had done the best I could.  I ate my chicken and salad, passed on the dessert and my willingness to dance was probably a clue that my careful ministrations of my wine intake were grossly miscalculated.   In the end, my attempts to make good choices caused nothing but anxiety.

When I recounted this experience to a friend of mine she pointed out that I didn’t actually fail at weight watchers, weight watchers failed me.


After I wrote that passive aggressive post apologizing to my husband for all of my shortcomings and failures as a wife I realized that he probably owed me a few apologies.



1. For every time you go to get something out of the refrigerator or the cupboard standing in front of it and asking me where ‘it’ is.  Then saying you can’t find it.


2. For always wanting to drive.  Are you afraid of my driving? Do I scare you? Does my inability to navigate curbs have you clutching your pearls?


3. Every time I  am frustrated, angry, or sad, suggesting that maybe sex will help.


4. For all of the conversations that start in the middle and I don’t know what the hell you are talking about.  Despite my awesome ability to read your mind I still have trouble reading your thought bubbles.


5.  For coming home from lodge and when I wake up, because our old floors are creaking, regaling me of stories of how great lodge was and how great your brothers were, and leaving your tux hanging on the door handle.


6.  For giving me that patronizing, long suffering, impatient look when I could not remember for the life of me how long we have been married.


7.   For introducing me to Scotch, and good steaks.  I’m certain that this is the reason I’m getting fatter.


8.  For getting ‘animated’ with me when any subject of law comes up.  I’m not a law student nor a lawyer.  And I don’t care.


9.  For your stupid hockey bag.




hockeybag1                         hockeybag2





The haircut saga continues…  I honestly don’t understand why getting my haircut is so difficult.  I’ve tried bringing pictures, being more specific as to length and expectations, asking questions, asking for suggestions.  I’ve been to salons that charge $80 for their service, and I have darkened the door of every hair cutting chain.  It doesn’t matter how I approach the stylist, it doesn’t matter what I pay.  I continue to have the same outcome.  Lowering my expectations doesn’t work, raising my expectations doesn’t help.  I went through a phase of buying hairstyle magazines, googling haircuts for older women, round faces, fine hair.  I surrender.  I think I will cut my own hair.

I’ve always envied the women who have a relationship with their stylist.  The biker chick and I have officially broken up.

So yesterday I decided to go to Magic Cuts to get my hair cut.  Just a trim.  When I sat down, I asked for a trim and showed her where the last person cut my hair had left it uneven.  She nodded her head and asked if I would like bangs this time around.  Well, I don’t mind bangs, but I hate that stage when you grow them out.  When I hesitated she said, ‘let me get the book and I will show you what I mean’.  I was buoyed by her confidence.

She showed me a picture like this one.



What I thought I was getting.







What I got.



When she took out the razor and started shaving my bangs I should have left.


I give up.




20. June 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: The Amucks · Tags:




The first time I was called a feminist.  It was spat at me like it was the most disgusting thing I could be.   Embarrassed,  I questioned my thoughts, my opinions, my worthiness.   It was the 80’s, and I was in my early 20’s.  I was dismissed as a FEMINIST.  I was crazy.

If you look back at my teenage years and how they influenced me as a woman, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s to commercials that tell me I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, but never let you forget you’re a man

Well, no wonder.





When I was in 4th grade a boy in my class would push me, call me names.  Your run of the mill school yard bully.  One day he pushed me into the wall at school and managed to give me a goose egg on the back of my head.  When my friends brought me crying over to the teacher supervising recess she told me it was because he liked me.  Even at 9 years old I was smart enough to know that this teacher was full of shit.  He liked me.  Thank you moulder of minds, leader of children, you just set a young girl up to believe that it was ok for a male to treat you like you deserved to be hit.  That you should learn now that you are a lesser being.


I worked for a man once who made it very obvious that a woman’s value was based on her appearance.  I remember him sitting with friends and talking about another woman and describing her as ‘a mess’.  My only memory of a valued woman in their eyes gained acceptable status when she was described as being ‘a model.’   Even though mentally I knew that their approval wasn’t something I wanted, I still couldn’t help wondering if I was under the moniker of ‘a mess’.  


The catalyst to writing this post came from my viewing The Sexy Lie  a Ted talk by Caroline Heldman.

It’s taken me 49 years but I think I finally figured it out.  I’ve spent 49 years being an apologist for my opinion.  Now?  Now I’m mad.  And yes.  I am a feminist.  I am a feminist because I am equal.

I’m not talking about the feminist who tears men down. The woman who belittles, tells jokes about why men are stupid and women are superior. I’m not talking about tearing down an entire gender. I’m raising a man, I want him to treat the women in his life as equals. I don’t want him to feel inferior to women.

When Miley Cyrus got on stage in a flesh coloured, whatever that was, I was shocked.  I was more shocked how media was justifying her under the theory that she was attempting to be titillating, to break free from her squeaky clean Disney beginnings.  Here’s the thing Miley.  You have the right to wear whatever you want, you are not defined by nakedness, but here is the but.

No one is listening to your music.  They are waiting to see where you put your tongue next.




Incidentally.  The bully? Grew up and was charged with domestic abuse.





1.  I was reading the other night when I had this strange feeling like I was being watched.






2.  Mike tagged along with me to my yoga class the other day.  I was of two minds when it came to him coming.  On one hand he could experience the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga.  On the other hand he would be harshing on my yoga buzz.  Before the class I told him not to worry if he farted, because no one laughs.  Except me, but my fellow yoginis seem to accept this character flaw in me.  I can’t help myself.  I think farts are funny.  I even downloaded an app to my phone that you could play all sorts of funny fart sounds. I also have a whip app, which is wonderful for communication.  After the class I asked Mike if he enjoyed yoga.  He did, but he was wishing he wore a cup.


3.  Beth is now experiencing the joys of roommates.  Roommates can be fabulous or horrible, my old roommate was a drunken slut.  Who thought she was fabulous.  She would bring home random men and sometimes leave for work in the morning leaving random man in her bed.  Surprise!  Sometimes she dated married men.  And sometimes the married mans wife would show up at the apartment and not believe that you were not the drunken slut roommate that was involved with the married man.  And sometimes you have to show the wife your drivers license so that she would believe that you were not the drunken slut roommate involved with her husband.


4.  Remember that time I said that Mike hid the scale for me so I would stop obsessing over that stupid number?  Defining myself by an arbitrary number that some asshole decided was the benchmark for self worth, or self loathing in my case?  Remember?

Ya, it’s been a month and I found the scale 2 weeks ago.  It’s been downhill ever since.  He’s going to try and hide it again.  The sad part is that I wasn’t even looking for it.  He’s going to have to work on that.













I’ve been binge reading Anthony Bourdain‘s books, I found a copy of Kitchen Confidential  in a used bookstore and that snowballed to his other writing.  This has brought me to reminiscing about my previous work experience in restaurants, and how I look at dining now.  My own views on tasting menus. My new found appreciation for foie gras, truffles, and yet an appreciation for the simplicity of the deep fried pickle and draft beer.

One of my guilty pleasures are dive bars.  I like the simplicity.  I like that when you walk in, you know that the bar is filled with regular customers and there is a level of acceptance.  That you share the same desire for refreshment and possibly a buzz, a little day drinking perhaps.  I don’t necessarily eat in these places beyond packaged potato chips.  I share Mr. Bourdain’s theory about clean bathrooms and if they can’t keep the bathroom clean, how clean is the kitchen?  Recently Mike and I went into one of our local dive bars with extremely cheap draft beer.  We debated grabbing something to eat,  he perused the menu while I went to the ladies room.  There I glimpsed a giant turd in one of the toilets, I returned to the table and told him we would definitely not be eating here.  When the server returned we told her we would be just having beer, then I suggested that her ladies room needed some attendance. And it wasn’t me.

Sleazy bars are not our only choice of dining establishments, we did eat in Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant at The London, a Michelin rated, 3 star restaurant while in Manhattan.  We were anticipating something wonderful, memorable, the best thing we ever ate kind of memorable and ended up leaving thinking it was a lot of money for a disappointing, sad attempt at pretentious, dinner.  The staff were too much.  As we chatted between courses the staff would come and scrape the crumbs from the table, which is fine but a couple of times they did this when we hadn’t actually had the next course yet.  I commented to Mike how weird it was that they were that unaware that they didn’t realize they had just done this.  I looked up the Michelin ratings and see that he lost his stars, but in fairness to Mr. Ramsey he no longer owns this restaurant.  It was validating to realize that we weren’t crazy when we questioned the meal and service, and further validating when we were talking to a local chef who was shocked when we were lukewarm on the experience.  I think he assumed we were just faux foodies.  It’s my opinion that food quality and service are measured the same whether you are eating chicken wings or foie gras.

There have been a lot of disappointing moments in some local restaurants as well.  An Italian restaurant that we kept going back to even after bad experiences, we wanted so much to love this place and make it our place to frequent.  Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.  The last time we ordered a caprese salad, it was so bad it was comical. I took a picture of it.  Add to that our witnessing the staff gossiping and complaining to each other, complaining about the owner, and we have never returned.

Mike got food poisoning from another local restaurant, we will stop in for a locally brewed beer but beyond that we don’t eat there anymore.  Our neighbourhood chinese food joint pours a really nice (aka large) glass of wine, and the owner will indulge my desire to learn mandarin.  Unfortunately they are always on the health departments code violation list so we balance the desire for noodles over the next day effects of delicious but potentially harmful noodles.  The bathrooms are always clean though.







I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her.

Rodney Dangerfield



1.  I’m sorry that I don’t show up to your Sunday ball hockey games.  You always show up to my things without complaint or hesitation. This apology doesn’t mean I’m actually going to show up, I still have no desire to sit with you stinky boys while you eat chicken wings and drink beer and watch whatever stupid sports game is on tv.  Seriously how can you all sit and give commentary on golf?

2. I’m sorry that the previous apology is passive and insincere.

3.  I’m sorry that I snore. I know you get up in the night and go play plants vs zombies on your ipad because I am keeping you awake.

4.  I’m sorry that I am not really listening when you talk about guitars, ball hockey and the lodge.

5.  I apologize for bitching about not knowing what to make for dinner, then getting mad at you for suggesting we go out for dinner because I don’t want to spend the money.

6.  Further apology regarding dinner, I’m sorry when you offer to help with dinner I kick you out of the kitchen and act all annoyed when you are trying to help.  I do like cooking with you, you grill an excellent steak and your risotto is delicious.

7.  I’m sorry I roll my eyes when you do the hubba hubba eyebrows when I’m getting ready for bed.

8.  I’m sorry I drive for two days with the gas gauges warning light on before I put gas in.

9.  I’m sorry that I don’t remember the gas light is on when you ask to take my car on an errand and you end up having to put gas in, and you point out that you coasted into the station and were afraid you would end up pushing the car the last block to the station.  And I laughed.

10. I apologize for insisting I cut the lawn for the exercise then bitch about how I’m the only one doing the yard work.

I will add an eleventh apology.  I’m sorry that these are the apologies I owe you for last week.





It seems that I have replaced stepping on the scale with obsessively counting calories.  I know I won’t be able to let that one go right away.  The weight watchers commandant of the scales words still ring in my ears We have to get you motivated.  Many months later, and I still want to punch her.  Get motivated.  pfffft.  Motivate this… scale nazi.


I’m kind of wishing that I had taken on the personal challenge of having sex every day for a year  that Brittany Gibbons did, than giving up my scale.  It would be way more fun to have sex every day for a year.  Of course I would probably begin weighing myself before and after sex to see if having sex actually made me lose weight.  Or documenting the actual minutes I had sex every day to calculate the actual daily and weekly calories burned.  The big challenge however would be where to put the pedometer.  I could use a fitbit but that goes on my arm and that would probably not put me on the recipient end of sexually beneficial.

It’s only been 6 days since I gave up the scale.  It feels a lot longer.

I should have gone with the sex.





It’s been 2 days since I weighed myself.  My first thought this morning when I got up was to go to the bathroom then come back to the bedroom and weigh myself.  A morning wake up call, so I know exactly where I stand starting the day.  But then I remembered that Mike hid the scale.  Like I asked him to.  This is going to be harder than I thought.

I went to yoga this morning and while balancing in a pose I fell over.  Not a wobbly, oops I lost my balance fall. A balancing on one leg, while bending over while lifting my other leg behind me creating momentum causing me to land in a not so graceful thud.  The yoga teacher said, ‘that sometimes happens’  In her calm yoga voice.  The same one they use when someone farts.







I’m giving up my scale.

For one year I am committing to not weigh myself.

One year.

I have to do it.

I have made overtures in the past of giving up the scale, to stop weighing myself every day but I never did it.  I couldn’t do it.  My obsession with the scale is actually worse now.  I will weigh myself in the morning before I have a cup of tea because I don’t want that to influence the number on the scale.  I weigh myself when I’m getting ready for bed because I don’t have clothes on to influence the scale.  I move the scale around the room to ensure that it weighs the same on different spots of the floor.  I sneak to weigh myself so Mike doesn’t witness me weighing myself and when I feel defeated have to say something positive that I don’t believe anyway.

When I weigh myself in the morning it sets the tone for my whole day.  It sets my level of self loathing.  How can a person function in every day life and carry around that mental torment?  All based on a number.

So I’m giving up the scale.

Just the thought of giving  up the scale is giving me anxiety.  I feel like a drug addict.  I was bargaining with myself that I would commit to weighing once a week.  I was bargaining that I would let Mike hide it and only bring it out once a week so I can check my progress.  What happens if I gain?  What happens if I have done so well during the week, feeling great only to get on the scale and tear all that down?  I did this week after week with weight watchers gaining and losing the same couple of pounds, feeling like I had a great week only to be told by the scale henchwoman that I had indeed gained .4 lb.,  and that I needed to get motivated.  Just the thought of the digital number flashing, once, twice, three times, each time a different number, I realize I’m holding my breath so I let it out, how much does the air in your lungs weigh?  I’ve gone to the bathroom before I weigh in because I want to make sure that the number is not influenced by pee.  When I was successful with weight watchers many years ago and reaching goal, a lifetime member, I would eat very lightly all day so I could go to my evening weigh in without much food in my body.  Cereal for breakfast, a banana for lunch and not too much water, past experience I learned that drinking water all day greatly influenced the scale.  All these rituals point to an eating disorder.  Disordered thinking.

I have to give up the scale.  It will allow me to focus on my health.  The great things I do every day for my health with no influence of that number.  The number that seems to continue to climb despite my calorie counting, yoga classes and daily walks.

I don’t think I can do it.

I have to do it.