If there’s such a thing as the perfect shoe, I found it last weekend at Famous Footwear.
I’m a Skechers whore. Before my latest find, I owned four different pairs and I love them. But the pair I bought last weekend are better than any shoe I’ve ever owned, including my workout shoes. These fit my feet like a glove and give great arch support. If my husband wouldn’t mind, I’d wear them to bed.
After two foot surgeries and advancing arthritis, I gave up heels. And forget flip-flops and open-toed sandals. Without the support of my orthotics, it’s like I’m walking on thumb tacks. So finding the right shoe always makes me do a little happy dance.
For me, shoes are like food. Both have to be just right or I will be terribly uncomfortable. In my post “Hindering My Hindrances,” Karen left a comment and question about how I deal with bringing food to someone else’s house.
She wrote, “About your food planning - I also think that is the secret of weight maintenance. I have kept my weight loss off almost 2 years now and am (like you) very diligent about planning my meals.
“What I haven't gotten past though, is bringing my own food to someone else's house. I know that most of the people we gather with wouldn't like what I eat, but my Midwest politeness won't let me bring my own. I feel like it would be an insult to the hostess. I would really appreciate any suggestions on how you overcame that.”
Here’s how I came to not give a damn what other people think about how and what I eat. I call it “The Veal Experience.”
I moved to Podunkville, Pennsylvania, in 1991 from Minnesota, so I know of this “Midwest politeness” Karen speaks of. I cut beef out of my diet in 1986 after my father had two heart attacks. I was obese then and was afraid I, too, would have a heart attack young, and so I stopped eating most meat. The one time I ate beef was in a homemade taco salad in 1990 (it was almost 100 percent lean, the leanest ground meat I could find) and I spent the rest of the evening in the bathroom. ‘Nuf said. Haven’t touched the stuff since.
Anyway, I moved here to PA with my (now ex) husband who got a job as a professor at our local college. (For those of you keeping track, yes, my current – and last – husband is also a prof at the same school, different department. I have a thing for men with letters after their names, apparently). As part of the orientation for new faculty, ex and I were invited to a faculty member’s home for dinner with other faculty members. (The academia with nauseatingly thick in the room that night, my friends.)
When we sat down for dinner, Hostess began by serving a shrimp salad swimming in a creamy white dressing. I wasn’t watching my weight at the time, although I should have been. I weighed 139 pounds and it would have behooved me to stay there, but I digress. I’ve had high blood pressure since I was 18 and so I watch my sodium intake, and I knew that salad Hostess was passing was afloat in sodium. To be polite, I scooped a miniscule amount. Hostess said, and I’m not kidding, “Is that all you’re going to eat?” Let’s just say she wasn’t the most tactful woman I’d ever met.
I smiled and stood my ground. “Yes, thank you. I have to watch my sodium intake.” Why lie?
I took a rolls, but passed on the butter and the olives and the pickles and the cheese sauce that I think had potatoes floating somewhere in the grease. But the catalyst that guaranteed I was never being invited back and that Hostess and I were not going to be BFF was when Hostess personally walked around the table with a platter of veal.
I don’t eat beef, we’ve established that. I made that decision for health reasons. But I do not and have not and will not ever eat veal. I made that decision for animal rights reasons (a decision I made long before corporate farming and the abhorrent ways in which animals are treated today…a subject for another day and perhaps a different blog format).
Veal? Was she kidding me? Who serves veal to guests she’s never met before? I wanted to walk out in protest, but I was there as the Good Wife and so I politely said no. Again, she berated me. “You don’t eat meat, either? What are you? A vegetarian?” She said “vegetarian” like it was a four-letter word. And I wasn’t even a vegetarian at the time!
“No,” I explained as my husband kicked me under the table. “I haven’t eaten beef in several years.”
I wish now that I’d have launched into my political banter, but I was only 28 and Hostess was 60 and scary. However, she taught me two very important lessons that night. 1) I always, ALWAYS ask my guests if they have a dietary restriction or request before they dine at my house; and 2) I always ALWAYS ask my host/hostess what they are serving and to let them know that they do NOT have to prepare something separate for me, and I am happy to bring along my own food. If they have a problem with that, then they are not worthy of my presence at their dinner table. Word.
Weight loss has made me a bit militant. But it’s my body I’m defending, and I do it in the nicest possible way. What I eat isn’t anyone’s business other than my own since it is MY body the food is passing through and it is ME who has to deal with its repercussions the next day.
So Karen, I don’t know how comfortable you are becoming your own little army, but like a good pair of shoes, if you don’t serve yourself the right food, you will be uncomfortable in some way, shape, or form. And you, not your host or hostess, has to live with that.
And I say all that in the nicest possible way because, well, I’m a nice person. LOL!
On a side note, I know a lot of you have foot issues and can empathize with my feet issues, so I’d love to hear about your favorite shoes. And even if you don’t have foot issues, give us your shoe reviews. If there’s another perfect shoe beyond the Skechers I’ve got on my feet right now, I’d love to know.