Because living in Europe is not perfect

I know that living over here in Europe and car hiking through grown up Disneyland is amazing. I love it, really I do. We are moving in two months and part of me is heartbroken. The villages and castles and locals and all the things that make this such an amazing experience.

But man am I fat.

I have got to get out of this place, it is officially killing me probably with heart disease which I think comes from eating too much. If I eat one more brat or frikkadel or frikken anything I’m pretty sure I will explode. At least my pants will explode. Oh whatever, I only wear elastic waist these days anyway.

I can’t bring myself to tell you what the post-England vacation scale told me this morning because the number was so bad I almost barfed, and not from bulimia. I really need a diet friend so I’m going to get chummy with myfitnesspal and get skinny before I move to Vegas where people don’t wear any clothing. Because there aren’t enough clothes to hide all this.

The worst part is the up and down I’ve experienced over here. It looks something like this: Go on vacation, gain 8 pounds. Come home, lose 6 pounds. Go on vacation, gain 8 pounds, come home, lose 6 pounds. If you take 12 vacations over the course of 3 years…you can do the math. It’s so depressing. And yes, I’m a big whiny baby who has nothing to complain about except, I kind of do. Dieting is not easy when you go someplace and they have something amazing to eat that you know you’ll never try again…so you eat 3 helpings of it. One for you, one for your mother, and the one your kid refused to touch because it was “foreign.”

Have I mentioned that we still have two vacations to go on? Stupid vacations.

To any friends or family members who wish they lived here, let me make you feel better. It comes with a price. No one speaks the language and if they do, they drive on the wrong side of the road. Recycling is awesome but I have four garbage cans in my kitchen. They only collect our one little “real” trash can twice a month.

When my husband is in Japan on business and the neighborhood internet goes down there is no one to call and I can’t ask our neighbors because they don’t speak English.

With security checks and base traffic, I have to drive half an hour to get to a post office.

I have to drive half an hour to pick the kids up from school.

I have to drive an hour and a half to spend two hours with my girl Christy, then drive an hour and a half home to get the kids off the bus. And I do.

In order to get the car oil changed in my German wonder car I have to drive 45 minutes to an auto parts store, use sign language and tears until I can get someone to help me find and buy the correct filter, drive another 15 minutes to wait in line for an hour (engine off no matter how hot or cold), and then, when I’m ready to run someone over, I finally get my turn in the waiting room. Last time it took them over an hour.

I get to do that today.

So yes, living here is awesome. And yes, I will move back to the states and be happy for my skinny, easy access, English speaking, large roadway, Jiffy Lube American way of life.

And just for the record, Europeans aren’t skinny. They’re just not obese. Kind of like me right now.


Fat Ugly Girl

So the other day my girlfriend calls me.

“Hey, I have to go with my husband to a fancy dinner tonight and I have nothing to wear. Got anything?”

Now we all know that I’m all about fancy everything, so I invite her over to raid my closet.

She drops in and I pull out this gorgeous cocktail number that I got on a super deal last winter, complete with matching strappy gold stilettos. She puts it on, opens the door, and my jaw hits the floor.

She looked GO-O-ORGEOUS. Talk about the belle of the ball, she could have gone without a stitch of makeup and hair in an old ponytail and still have stoled the show.

As I’m standing there, gawking at her fantasticness, she does what every woman in her shoes would most likely do: she pinches a non-existent piece of fat, scowls at herself in the mirror, and says, “I don’t know, I might be too hippy for it.”

Why do we do this to ourselves? Because let’s face it, we all do it. It doesn’t matter how smokin’ hot we look in something, one glance in the mirror and all we see is that zit, or a patch of wrinkles, or some otherwise attractive bulge that we like to call “flab”, but that any man would secretly wiggle his eyebrows at.

The saddest part is that when we go out in public, most people don’t look at us and pinch our fat with their eyes, trying to find any and every possible flaw. And when people give a compliment, the initial reaction for most women is shock. Really? You think I look nice? Ugly old me?

We all know I wasn’t about to stand around and listen to that kind of negative self-talk, and anyone with eyes could see that her arguments were spineless. She looked good, and she deserved to feel good. It only took one good, honest look in the mirror before she saw herself for the beauty she is. I think sometimes we forget that we’re hurting our own feelings.

Let me tell it to you straight. You are as beautiful as you think you are. You want to feel better about yourself? Be kind to that girl in the mirror and stop tearing her down. When you catch a glimpse of yourself this week, say something nice, out loud, and squelch those old self-esteem killing comments you usually make. Give yourself a break and show some love.

You deserve it.