Tuesday, November 05, 2013


I spent some time today going through my file cabinets.  Yes, I had stuff in there from ages ago.  Seriously, I had financial aid forms from 1991 in there.  Will I ever really need those forms ever again?  (don't you dare tell me yes, because I am NOT going out into the garbage bins tonight to pull them out from under the kitchen trash bags, and as of about 7AM, they will probably be in the garbage truck and heading toward the landfill...so TOO late.)  I saw receipts for products that I don't even own anymore.....cell phones from 10 years ago, lawn mowers, dryers, you name it.  I had it. I weeded out the old unneeded stuff and was feeling great.  Until I remembered a file cabinet in the back corner of my closet.  I wormed my way into the closet, around luggage and boxes of shoes.  I opened the drawer and I almost laughed out loud.  This cabinet was the 'memory' file cabinet.  I had hard copies of  report cards, old writings (writings that I probably don't even have digital copies of due to the age of these pieces).  I had old lesson plans from competitions that I was in during my high school years.  I found student teaching observation papers and my journal from those fun months.  I found the history book from the Franikan Islands. (never heard of it??? It was what we called our end of the hall while I was in college...yeah, I think we had a bit too much time on our hands).  I found old reports that I had written in high school and college. I laughed and laughed and laughed.   And I found a folder chronicling that horrible year of teaching in PG County, MD (oh yes, the year that made me walk away from teaching.)   I cried, I won't lie.  I sat in the closet and cried from the lost dreams and lost innocence.

But that's not what this blog is about.  This blog is about weight loss.......and what struck me most in terms of weight loss today was finding a report that I wrote for a Healthy Lifestyles class that was mandatory at the college I attended.     The assignment was "If you were given 1000 dollars, how would you use that money to live a healthy lifestyle...what would you buy."   I made a mockery of the project.  I got an "A"  but looking back it is very clear how I managed to let my weight get up to 300 plus pounds.  The paper is an amusing read (at least to me)...but as a 40 year old (hey, I'm still 40 for another month) I wish the 20 year old MaryFran would have taken the lessons that the class was trying to teach to heart.  Oh well...better late than never!

The assignment...retyped for posterity sake......(the prices in this article were gleaned from stores and catalogs and were actually valid prices at that time..., I even included pictures of the pages that showed pictures of my selections!!!)

My very first purchase with my one thousand dollars was  new roller blades which were $175.  I was safety conscious and bought the helmet for $30 and the accessory package , which included knee and elbow guards for $49. I made a a detour at the clothes store on the way home to purchase a new outfit for my rollerblading excursion...the new outfit cost me $78.50. 

The roller blading started off well enough. I left my house and started skating down the road.  Unfortunately, I didn't see the 'harmless' pebble.  Somehow, those little wheels got jammed (that's what will happen when you get a stone stuck in the bearings).  I flew head over heels, landing on my face in a mud puddle.  The pain was incredible!  I had broken my nose!

I decided, while my nose was recovering that I wasn't overly fond of rollerblading.  So I moved on to a new activity.

Don't you think kayaking sounds fun?   That's what I thought as I walked out of the kayak store with my new purchases in tow.  A $349 kayak with a $35 paddle. (Now, was all know that you can't buy a kayak without buying a paddle.)  The tee shirt and shorts, bought for the express purpose of kayaking cost the low budgeted price of $35. (Kmart blue light special!)   I also bought this nifty waterproof seal pack for $26.  I thought it would be nice to carry things in...things like my first aid kit.

I was way cool as I calmly enjoyed the feel and sounds of the river.  When suddenly my kayak flipped over.  Seeing as how my head was underwater, I couldn't read my beginners guide to kayaking, so of course I didn't know how to flip myself back up above the water.  Tragedy!  I started to pick up speed as I traveled down the river, upside down.     I never even saw the under water tree trunk that I smashed my face into.  You can probably guess my injury.  Yup, I broke my nose....AGAIN!!!

More hospital bills, pain and emotional torment.  I decided that kayaking might sound exotic, but not to me.  (If the doctor that treated my injury had been cute, I may have decided to give kayaking another shot but....)

Looking at my budget.  I discovered that I still had $219.50 remaining to spend on my health.  (Luckily my insurance covered all of my hospital visits, so these bills did not go onto this budget.  Otherwise I would have been way over budget.)  Fearing for my life, I decided to find an 'easy sport'.  Sunbathing was the "sport" that came to mind.  I figured that the sun is  good source of Vitamin D.  I bought a chaise lounge for $78 and a new bathing suit for $48.  I decided that it would be wise to protect my delicate skin from the harmful sun's rays with a $16.50 bottle of suntan lotion (with a high SPF of course).  Now you wouldn't want me to protect my skin and not protect my hair, so I bought a $16 hat.  I could just imagine myself juggling all of my paraphernalia as I made my way out to the beach, so I just had to buy a large, $31 bag....it was a must.

  Theglare from the sun gan get pretty bad, so I bought a pair of sunglasses to help my eyes adjust to the brightness (and to protect them from teh UV rays).  As I scoped out the men on the beach.  And let me tell you.  I was safe.....as I jumped out of my lounge chair and chased those men down the beach.  I didn't fall!   But.....I did trip one of the men, who unfortunately broke his nose.

The kayak and roller blades all sit lonely and dusty in my garage....maybe someday I'll be brave enough to try it all again. 

Itemized List

Roller Blades             148
Accessory package       49
Helmet                         38
anorak                          54
shorts                           24.50
kayak                          349
kayak paddle               35
shorts                          20
 tee-shirt                     15
seal pack                     26
chaise                         78
bathing suit                 48
sunglasses                   29.75
hat                              16
suntan lotion              16.75
large tote bag              31

total                         1000

I would like to thank LLBEAN for their help and for their willingness to provide pictures for the consumers.

 So as you can see, I made a mockery of spending money for health.   My spiral into obesity (although lets be honest....I wasn't exactly thin in college) shouldn't have been a shock!!!