Believe me, I’ve tried not to talk about this.

But for the past month or so, I’ve been drinking a green smoothie every day…and I have become somewhat addicted, I’m afraid. I hate talking about it because–well, I’m all too aware that people (and by people, I mean family members) are rolling their eyes at me. I know what they’re thinking: this is just the latest of my little obsessions.

Okay, I admit that I do have obsessions. A few years ago, for five straight months I woke up every morning and ate half a can of pineapple. I can’t remember why this was a good idea, but it had something to do with getting enough chromium, so the pineapple had to come out of a can. Fresh pineapple, delicious though it might be, wasn’t an option. We had stacks and stacks of cans in our pantry. One day I decided I didn’t want anymore.

I’ve also had some hair issues (read: obsessions) from time to time. I’m the only person in our family with blond hair, and as anyone with blond hair can tell you, the color is NEVER precisely right. It’s always either too gray-looking (hairdressers call that “ashy”) or else it’s too gold (“brassy” to the professionals), and sometimes, defying all logic, it can be both at the same time. You can have ashy hair when you catch a glimpse of it in the rear view mirror of your car, and then the most horrifyingly GOLD hair in the bathroom mirror. When that happens to you, you NEED family members to assess and report on what THEY see. It’s difficult to keep them from backing away from you, though, when you attempt to explain what’s going on and impress upon them the importance of their evaluations. At times, they will run out of the room to escape your questioning.

And I’m not even scratching the surface of my health interests. For instance, I was once told by my yoga teacher that I am totally misaligned in ways that were going to lead to pain, bad knees and sloping shoulders–and so he recommended that I perform an exercise which involved lying motionless on the floor for forty-five minutes a day with my legs at right angles on a chair, and my head perfectly forward and my arms at my sides. Forty-five minutes of motionless lying about! I wasn’t even permitted to fall asleep, which would at least be a good use of the time, because then I would collapse myself into my old misalignments and grow even more crooked! And I couldn’t use the time to make phone calls or even watch educational things on television, because all you can really do when lying motionless on your back is stare at the stains on the ceiling.

But I did this–for a while, at least. My family members were quite amused. But no one joined me in this attempt to become a better aligned person. And now that I have quit doing it, they are polite enough not to bring it up again. It’s been filed away in the catalog of my oddities, I’m sure.

But this brings us to green smoothies. Despite what you might be thinking, green smoothies aren’t green TEA smoothies. They are green because that’s the color of the smoothie itself, since it it is chocked full of green vegetables. Like handfuls of baby spinach, to be exact.

What you do is take some frozen strawberries–a lot of them, but this is not exact science, so just put as many as you like–and two bananas and the handfuls of fresh baby spinach and you put all that in a blender along with some water, and then you turn on the blender to its best ICE-CRUSHING setting, and then watch as the whole thing turns a slightly horrible-looking green color.

A warning: You will not look at it and think, “Wow! I have GOT to drink that thing, because it looks so good!” But when you taste it…wow. It tastes mostly like strawberries, with some creaminess due to the bananas, and a kind of fresh, crisp taste from the spinach. It definitely does not taste like spinach, so you don’t have to worry about that. But when you drink it down–I have two large glasses of it every day–well, you can’t believe, frankly, that anything that bad looking tastes so WONDERFUL.

The best part of it is that just this blenderful of goodness contains, like, a bazillion servings of vegetables. You know how recently they decided that it wasn’t enough for us to get five servings each day, like they’d always been recommending, but that now we needed, oh, at least NINE? And I remember thinking, “Well, THAT’S never gonna happen!” But now I think I get nine servings just thinking about the green smoothie each day.

No, no. Here’s the really, really best part–and now you’re going to think I’m just bragging. The other day I went to the doctor, and of course they always insist on weighing you at the doctor’s office, no matter why you’re really there. Usually I try to ignore this aspect of doctorhood, because it’s just a quirk that they can’t help. But–holy smokes! I had lost FIVE POUNDS without even trying. Honestly. I still eat all the food I normally do, whenever I’m hungry. I’ve just added this green smoothie to the mix–and five pounds has somehow melted off without me noticing. (I feel that five pounds that leaves in April is worth about ten pounds any other time of the year, because this is the time of the year when a person is starting to think about the bathing suit problem coming up.) AND! I can take my jeans off without unbuttoning and unzipping them. In fact, I have trouble getting them to stay up! I’m actually going to have to buy a belt. I found out I lost two full inches in my abdomen, just from drinking green smoothies for five weeks. My stomach is flatter than it’s ever been.

So you can see why I can no longer keep quiet. Thank you, bloglily, for telling me about green smoothies being practically the National Beverage out there in California. And, by the way, does my hair seem ashy to you?

These days, life and fashion being what they are, all of us are being made to feel horrible about our harmless little rolls of fat.

You can hardly thumb through a magazine without seeing that your personal body is grossly  out of style–even if you wear a size zero. Size zero is the new size ten, as someone recently pointed out.

Dieting being difficult, and exercise getting to be more of a drag than ever before, Hewlett Packard has come to our rescue, thank God. They have developed a camera that takes away 10 of your ugliest pounds so that you can at least feel good about yourself when you look at yourself in a photograph. Never mind how the camera knows exactly which pounds to take away–just go there and watch the slimming effect at work, and you know you’ll never have to diet again.

Who cares if you’re really a little chubby? Take a picture of yourself and post that on your mirror instead, and you’ll feel great.

I think if this really catches on, I think we’ll see photographs of the future doing a lot more for us than they currently do. Hewlett Packard should work on a camera that can erase all those tired frown lines, of course, and maybe upgrade our clothing and dust our furniture. And with a little bit more effort, it could modernize our kitchens and improve our family members’ posture, perhaps give us newer cars. I’m waiting for the camera that knows how to correct unfortunate haircuts and even out hair color disasters. 

In fact, I think the Hewlett Packard camera could revolutionize life as we know it. Feeling dissatisfied with yourself or how many chins you have? Forget it. Just head back to the couch, get more chips, and if anybody complains, show them your photo. You’re fine just the way you are.

(And thank you, Heather, for letting me know about this.)

The winter–such as it is–is taking its toll.

Today my friend Beth told me she became flat-out hysterical yesterday when she tried to put her jeans on, and they no longer fit. Now this is bad for many reasons, not the least of which the winter hasn’t really kicked in yet, and that means that the Days of Wanting to Sit in Front of the Television and Drink Gravy Right Out of the Bowl haven’t even begun, and yet even so, the clothes are starting not to fit. It’s way too early for this!

But Beth is a sensible woman, and she told herself not to panic, that surely the jeans had just spent a little too much time in the dryer, and that she should just tug at them encouragingly and keep hoisting them up, think positive, keep pulling, and that all would be well.

But these jeans would not even come close, no matter how much she struggled. And so at last she came to the only possible conclusion, the conclusion any woman holding her pair of too-tight jeans would quickly get to, which was, (to quote):  “I am a fat fat fatty fat fat fatso who can’t even fit in her comfortable pants because she is so fat, and now I will have to start shopping in the tent section at L.L. Bean.”

She threw them on the floor and threw herself on her bed and started to sob.

And that’s when she noticed that the pants were actually her skinny little son’s.