the risk that evolved from mrs. g's risk...a mrs. g. movie of the week.

Most of you remember that a few weeks back, Mrs. G. committed to taking one risk each month for a solid year. For September, Mrs. G. chose to challenge herself to run one mile without stopping. Mrs. G. took her pledge seriously.


She woke up early each morning, got her son and Mr. G. out the door and then hit the streets to wogg--combination walk and jog.

Each morning, before she began wogging, she said four Our Father's for her knees...


And, at minimum, eight Hail Mary's for her feet. Mary M's boyfriend Ben with the hideous cowboy lamp, below is a photo of the Siamese cat painting Mr. and Mrs. G. argue about regularly. Mrs. G. thinks it's valuable folk art and Mr. G. thinks it was painted by numbers.


Mrs. G. is not going to sugarcoat the first two weeks. She was sore, refused to bend over and pick anything off the floor and, finally, went and got a massage. While she was on the massage table, she thought to herself: self, I much prefer this to exercise.

But Mrs. G. continued to drag herself out of bed and hit the road.


Unfortunately, she didn't ever make it a full mile without stopping to cough up a lung, but she ran further than she has since high school, and she has no intention of stopping merely because September has come and gone. But one day while she was wogging, a neighbor several blocks up waved at Mrs. G. when she had stopped to cough up lung. The neighbor walked over to encourage her. Mrs. G. explained her mission and the neighbor responded to Mrs. G's explanation with the following: I assume, because of the weight, you're dieting too.

Mrs. G. would like to tell you she made a snappy comeback, but, honestly, Mrs. G. was so shocked, she was speechless. She really shouldn't have been shocked, because Mrs. G. has noticed a snarkier (sometimes plain meaner) attitude toward the overweight since our country became so obsessed with the "Obesity Epidemic". Mrs. G. is not a muttonhead; she realizes being overweight significantly increases the possiblity of several medical problems, but guess what? She really doesn't need to hear about it from family, friends and, most certainly, complete strangers.

She often wonders how it would be received if she regularly discussed family, friends or strangers' drinking, smoking, suntanning, cellphone talking while driving, promiscuous or unprotected sex, iffy parenting, abusive spouses, lying, cheating, belittling...really, any unhealthy behavior. Mrs. G. suspects she would be deemed a colossal bore and receive very few social invitations (I mean, how dare she. Who does she think she is?). So, Mrs. G's September risk evolved into a divergent risk-- encouraging other people, mentally and vocally, to mind their own beeswax. Fat people don't owe you an explanation or an apology, and you don't owe them your advice or judgement. Mrs. G. can't remember who said this originally, but you can't hate people for their own good. Being overweight is a health issue, not a moral issue. If looking at an overweight human disturbs or disgusts you or emboldens you to give a mini lecture, perhaps you should lock yourself in a closet and take inventory of your own personal awesomeness. Be sure and ask family and friends and co-workers to honestly weigh in. Or, hey, here's an idea: why not stand in front of a roomful of complete strangers and let them size you up in one glance. But back to the personal inventory. If the best you can come up with is superiority because you have more discipline, more willpower or are thinner, guess what? Big whoop.

Mrs. G. remembers a popular saying from her Southern childhood:

Beauty is only skin deep...but ugly is to the bone.

For many years, Mrs. G. completely misunderstood what this saying meant. She thought it alluded to the notion that beauty is good and fine, fleeting, but still good and fine.  But ugly (as in quit being ugly and mind your manners!), acting ugly infiltrated your whole being, seeped into your bones, contaminated your soul.

She remembers being crestfallen when she figured out it was an insult, that it insinuated, yeah, beauty may be skin deep, shallow, but ugly, ugly is a physiological disaster.

So, no, dear neighbor, Mrs. G. is not dieting. Believe it or not, she has made her peace with being stout and the likelihood that this is as good as she gets. She feels no need to fulfill your expectation that she be tortured or dissatisfied with just wogging for health and not to overhaul her large ass.

And this video, my ugly acting, presumptous friend, is just for you.

But, more so, it is to remind readers that you are who you are, life is what it is and, Lord have mercy, that is just fine. Don't you dare let anyone suggest otherwise.

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Reader Comments (82)

There is nothing quite like FIRE to cleanse the spirit......or to enjoy a few smores! I often use the
Bar-b for rituals, the last one involved an effigy of my step-father....uh hum......very liberating.
I do hope the women's colony has a decent fire pit!
By the're adorable!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy (p.s. original)

Hey Mrs G! We have the same plant pot!!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertrashalou

Smug people .. omg don't you hate that? people who act concerned and then get their licks in? one example.. people who ask when they hear someone has lung cancer... did they smoke? there is the whole blame the victim thing .... I have been reading that some breast cancer victims feel the whole relentless you have to be positive 100% of the time or you will not get well thing is a form blame the me a person who does every single thing that is good for then.. that's right, you can't
frightening as it is is a random universe.. shit happens thin people get sick too.... I am right there with you Mrs. G. sitting in the "fat" boat.. good for you for taking your risks !

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaren @Junking in Georgia

I loved it! You just go girl and I mean go!
I come from Big people.
My mother was a "big" girl and I loved every inch of her as a kid and later as an adult.
My daughter is a "big" girl and I love her as well!
Could we be smaller - well maybe we could but we are not.
You are the best and I love your beautiful blue eyes and your laughter with your family.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermeredith@whynot

Dear Mrs. G,

I loved your ritual burning of your crappy diet books. I agree that if you can't enjoy the good things in life like butter, it's probably not worth getting out of bed in the morning. In fact, I run (or, I plan to start running again after giving birth....over 9 months ago.....) so I CAN enjoy the good things in life like butter. I applaud your running for health and I hope you keep it up. You would never find a fellow runner critique your rubenesque figure because we all know runners come in all kinds of beautiful shapes and sizes and the fact that you get out there and do the work is all that matters.



P.S. The next time you have a ritualistic burning, you might find you get a more dramatic effect if you already have a rip-roaring bonfire going and you toss in your offending items one by one. Think all the movie clips/paintings you've ever seen of Savanarola's Bonfires of the Vanities or banned book burnings or whatever. xxx

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

love the video. and congrats on your dedication, it's totally inspiring to hear

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertracy

Mrs. G, I fucking love you. Can I come and visit? This was inspiring, and the moment I laughed out loud in the office was Mr G's entrance.

Fire logistics: what gives with the lighter fluid? That should have been dramatic. As a child I squirted lighter fluid (maybe it was petrol, I can't remember) into a smouldering fire in an oil barrel and the whole thing went WHOOMPH like something out of Hollywood. I even singed my fringe. The powers that be must have made lighter fluid less, uh, flammable in this age of health and safety.

Like Lisa, I'm one of those people who runs so I can eat more of what I like. In my case, it's so I can trough lard-based foodstuffs.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUrban Cowgirl

Rage on MrsG ! Why can't people just be encouraging without the added "commentary"? Would I like to be back in the 120-145lb. weight range I once was ? Ofcourse, but if I don't get there (and I have a LONG way to go) no one will love me any less. I have been on the same diet train as you and about 9 months ago got diagnosed w/ Celiacs disease. No wheat, barley ,rye or freakin' pizza? You have got to be kidding me!!!! I was the Queen of the Baguette and been having a very interesting time stopping myself from eating that which I love, but which is also killing me. It dawned on me the other day that this eating thing for me is almost like an alcoholic with booze. They crave it but it's destructive for them. Not saying you should give up bread or anything else, just an observation that seems applicable for me and it is helping. I know we hear it all the time but it's also finally dawning on me that I have to be good to myself and not just everyone else. Be good to yourself Mrs.G, the rest is a day at the beach!!!
PS...I also threw out my scale, I am not a number!!!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbramble

Mrs G, this is exactly what I needed to hear as I look forward to the upcoming holidays. My brother, who lives far away, will be there. This would be the same philosophy professor brother who told me a couple of years ago that my fat posed a moral delima for him since he viewed fat as a visible sign of a severe character flaw. I was so flabbergasted that I failed to remind him of his anorectic daughter and the number of times he has had to ask for a financial bailout from our parents because he has so consistantly lived far beyond his means. I've made peace with my weight over the past few years too--now I need to work on making peace with my brother.

How is son G. adjusting to school? I ask this as a homeschooling mom who occasionally has fantasies of sending my teen son to school.


October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

Hahaha! This made my day! My favorite line? "Life without bread? I'd rather have life without oxygen." I'm right there with you. Thank you thank you thank you!

P.S. Please let me know whenever you're in Kansas City so I can treat you to bbq! They don't make it like we do in Seattle!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

You know what I thought about during the entire video? How beautiful you are and the warmth and love between the three of you, laughing together.

When I hit 40 I realized that I was going to have to make a choice between spending 90 per cent of my time fighting off what genetics and hormone depletion and age was doing to my body and never again cook and eat the way I want to or to just accept the fact that I'm older, my 35 year old body is gone forever and focus on being healthy and happy.

(I'm worried that your deck is going to be very slippery from the melted butter. Watch your step!)

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Other Laura

Mrs. G, you rock! I too, am a 'big' girl. I like food. I like real food. Over the past couple of days, since watching 'Food, Inc', I've been thinking a lot about what I put in to my body, and where it comes from. So instead of treating my body like a landfill, I'm just going to try to be a little more considerate of it and go from there.

I'm not going to live my life thinking I'll be happier if I lose 50lbs, or wear a size 14. Yes, it would be wonderful if those things happened, but I'm going to live in the now, and try to stop beating myself up for not having the body I had when I was 16.

Now, I think I'll go have some bacon...

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

I love you! Plain and simple.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill

I can't watch the video yet (blocked at work), but I am still furious over a news story I watched from the MSN homepage last night about a 4 month old baby being denied insurance because he is "big." He is height and weight proportionate, but he is in the "99th percentile" so that makes him a risk. I still get angry about it. HE IS 4 MONTHS OLD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! And to read some of the comments after I "voted" on whether I agreed with the decision or not? The ignorance of people in this world makes me sick.

I could go on and on, but in the end the ignorant people will remain ignorant. You can't fix stupid.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

You're my hero.

Also, I'll never look at Dr. Oz the same. Free Willy. Ha!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKeetha

You made my morning (afternoon and night too!). Beyond hilarious!!!!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

It's astonishing what people feel free to say to others. And depressing.
You go, Mrs. G.!!!!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknittergran

burn baby, burn! so timely. I just finished, or nearly finished, Bob Greene's "Make the connection" (old, old) and I'm convinced he does not enjoy food. His advice, "eat until you are not quite full"... just like that. no help with "how" to resist the tempation of delicious food. he simply doesn't understand, "this is so fucking good! I'm getting seconds!"

As for your rude neighbor, what a clueless hussy.

I cheer you, Mrs. G, for getting out there and exercising. I would love to take a wog with you. Wogging is my second favorite activity, after snogging.

And finally, I am jealous of your lush fernage. That's backyard fernage.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphd in yogurtry

Dear Mrs. G,

I wanted to update you. After reading this post I told my husband he's in charge of bedtime 2 nights a week so I can run (on weekends, he just has to watch little man during nap time or something) and I signed up for a local Turkey Trot 5k! Thank you for reminding me why I need to just get out there and run.

Warmest regards,


October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I laughed loudly enough to wake the cat. Well done, Mrs G with the Lovely Eyes!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercallyn

@ Bramble- my nephew has Celiac's and I've been able to make him some lovely gluten free pizza. Cookies and brownies, too. More stores are carrying gluten free foods as well, so it's starting to get a little easier. Not perfect, but certainly better than it was even 2 years ago. Check out Her blog is great!

@ Jessie- I'm here in KC as well, and there is NOTHING like KC BBQ! Mrs G, we could take you on a culinary tour like no other!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

Mrs. G,

You freakin' rock! I loved the video. I am totally there with you on the diet books. I have thought of throwing them all away, but it seems such an insignificant way to end our relationship. I think I will try the bonfire idea. The comment from Mr. G when you asked him to make the fire rage was hilarious! Thanks so much for the rant; I really wish people would mind their own beeswax!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Can you make it rage? I am adopting this phrase as my own. It has multiple uses.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMinnesota Matron

That's odd - we came to opposite conclusions this month. I decided I hate exercise and would just rather cut back on food than exert myself. No special diet, just eat less and maybe I can walk around without waggling. Because I hate jogging. Wogging. Whatever. And 20 minutes of jogging really only burns off 2 apples. Or 2/5 of a brownie. Screw it.

Plus, a 35-year-old friend just suffered a TIA while jogging. See? It's bad for you.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersuburbancorrespondent

I am so tired of people always talking about their weight/diet. It is so uninteresting! Every time I get together with my sisters or a group of friends, the conversation turns to diets, and I get so frustrated. How about talking about the latest book you read, or your projects at work? Even exercising and food are great topics as long as they don't turn into discussions about weight!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenny in NC

"Take the plank out of your own eye...."

Here is my question: if/when my overweight friend criticizes my drinking, do I get to turn around and criticize her overeating? Not because I care, but just to point out to her that she is no one to bring up another's overindulgences? Because this has been really pissing me off.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranon

AMAZING!!! You have inspired me to do the same thing! As long as I'm happy with myself what does the other peoples opinions matter!!!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTonya Lynn

I had a friend once tell me that I needed to just learn to love my (fat) self....(she was also on the bigger side)....and so I really tried....and tried.....and tried. The next time I saw her was months later. She had lost a ton of weight and looked really fabulous! I commented on how great she looked, but confessed I was confused about her earlier advice to me. I asked her what changed....she said "nothing"....I lied about the first sucks to be fat.

Me - just call me gullible....I thought the sun rose and set with her. She gave me validation, but it was really only her giving herself validation/approval at the moment. I'm over it, and while I'm not exactly thrilled with my weight, I do happen to very much like do my friends who choose to love me for who I am, not my dress size.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Carol

It's so funny that at about the time you tossed in the 3rd book I was thinking about butter. And then you added some. Here's to YOU, Mrs. G. Liberated, wonderful, creative, splendid YOU.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGreen Girl in Wisconsin

Rock on, Mrs. G! I've been lurking out here for a few weeks, but I can lurk no longer. This is a fantastic site!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea L.

Clearly, YOUR BEST POST EVER!!! And while butter is good, bacon is BETTER!


October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngie @ KEEP BELIEVING

oh dear i am So conflicted! (burning books? aiyi yi goes against my soul, even terrible books). but i do love your deck.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlaurie

Thanks Kelley, I am finding my way and being a from scratch cook has helped. Shauna's site is great and the food is fabulous, that was a lucky find for me early on.

Let's just all make a pact- Let's FEEL good (regardless of what we weigh), and then we can't help but look good, because ofcourse we will be smiling and happy with ourselves. It will make the busy bodies wonder what we are up to!
We are DEFINITELY a butter household, no plastic tub whipped congealed crud for us! I'm with "Pound A ButtaH Paula"...everything is bettah wit buttah!!!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbramble

Dear Mrs. G.

I really think that you can cross 'arsonist' off your list of things to be when you grow up. That was hilarious! But all those books sounded horrible and soundly deserved their fate.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteralison

my favorite part? when you pull the stick of butter out of your pocket.

also, I was super glad to see that your scarf did not catch on fire while you were lighting the inferno.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjennie

Mrs. G. I am so proud of you!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNanaB

Oh, and I haven't been by for a little bit and noticed the change in the header: Arts. Letters. Feminine Shenanigans??? I'm wondering what was wrong with plain old shenanigans. Feminine Shenanigans kind of sounds like code for tampons.

Sorry. Is this falling into the category of not minding my own beeswax?

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteralison



Good luck with the wogging, Mrs. G. Could you swing by and pick me up, sometime? We could walk and talk and hack and cough... I need some motivation.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteremily

@Laurie, if it makes you feel any better only one book was significantly scorched. Mr. G. is right...I have no future as an arsonist. I'll recycle the rest.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMRS. G

The butter at the end was perfect!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranon

next time you burn books, open them, rip out a few pages, that will REALLY get your fire going!!!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I love you Mrs. G. And I love butter. And your backyard.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSmalltown Mom

Do you know how painful it is to laugh hysterically when you have bronchitis? Mr. G. and I yelled "Be careful" at the same time.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Juggling Life

You're my hero. There's a blog called Shapely Prose and a book called Lesson from the Fat-o-Sphere that you might enjoy.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen Anderson

God love ya, Mrs. G. This was fantastic!!!!!!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermaggie

Great video. I know the panning camera annoyed you but it was interesting to see what your backyard looks like.

I, too, am surprised it didn't flare up. Too damp where you live? Maybe the matches needed to hit the puddle of lighter fluid at the bottom of the grill?

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkellyg

I have some relatives I would like to send this to. They are not fat but they are guilty of some of those other unhealthy behaviors. Holidays would be wayyyyy more fun if they were just fat.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranon

Oh. Dear. God. I cried I laughed so hard. When you pulled the butter out of your pocket? Priceless. So when we get together we are totally BBQing italian sausages over a Dr Oz book.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMary Alice

I love you Mrs. G!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlog Princess G

Mrs. G. Will you be my friend!!?? I absolutely love you!!! You are a hoot!! Thanks for making my day!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterc.boone

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