Chief No Neck of the Swaying Pouch

So, last night I had the girls over.  We barbecued and we laughed.  Miranda is trying to have a baby and Laura is trying to get used to LA.  The whole evening felt like 5 minutes, as it often does when good people get together.


We were talking about babies and savings plans and getting into shape.  At one point, Miranda brought up Tanya, a mutual acquaintance she had worked with way back when.  Miranda is black.  Tanya is black.  Apparently, after one particular comedy event, Laura said to Tanya, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to meet Miranda’s mother.  It’s nice to meet you.”


Well, Tanya is not Miranda’s mother.  As Miranda puts it, “this was a turning point for Tanya in her life.”  The woman about lost her mind.  She dropped 50 lbs, she started wearing dresses, all because of Laura’s comment.  She didn’t want to be anybody’s mother.


Laura could not believe she had accidentally called Tanya, Miranda’s mother.  Being comedians, we morphed this mistake into “Do all black people look the same to you, Laura” kind of talk.  It was funny.  We enjoyed it.  We’re close like that.


But, today I’m not talking about race.  I want to talk about the “mother comment” as Tanya’s trigger.  I’m reading a book about habits and apparently we all have “cues” or triggers that initiate both good and bad habits.  For example, you might feel emotional because someone called you an a-hole or they acted like an a-hole towards you and this stimulated a routine.  Maybe your routine is eating an entire bag of cool ranch doritos.  Thus, begins the cycle.  A-hole Action = Cue / Trigger = Doritos = Fatness.  Scientifically, this is how a bad habit forms.  Cue to Routine to Reward.  But, according to this book, it’s ALSO how a good habit can form.  Tanya’s good habit cycle would go like this:  “You must be Miranda’s mom.” = Cue / Trigger = Workout / Eat Right = Lose 50lbs. = Nobody’s Momma.


Now I love researching things in this fashion.  Once, I stopped drinking for a whole two months, which was difficult because I love my evening cocktail or two or twenty.  But, I said, “that’s it.”  I want the control.  I thought to myself, when is the most difficult time to stop drinking in Manhattan?  Answer:  Christmas time.  There are so many holiday parties and there’s so much free flowing booze that being sober around this time is bordering on a Herculean task.  I wanted to be ready.  So, I read everything I could on the subject.  Every single book on stopping one’s alcohol consumption, I read.  I read books about how certain blood types lead to alcoholism.  I know all about how women and Asian cultures possess less of a booze enzyme in their stomachs, which is why we get even more drunk, even faster.  The fact is while your male counterpart is metabolizing his booze, yours is hitting the bloodstream directly.  I studied boozing inside and out.  It worked, I stayed off the stuff for the entire holiday season.


This drink is actually called, “The Grinch.” I love it.


So, now I’m trying to shift into a healthier lifestyle to lose some lbs.  I’ve lost about 4-5 lbs so far, but that’s not enough and it’s going too up and down for my liking.  I need to tighten the belt.  I’m thinking I need to figure out my cue – the thing that will jostle the electrical switch in my brain into a healthier lifestyle.  I liked that Tanya took a socially traumatic moment for her and turned it into a win-win for herself.


I’m currently searching for mine.


The habit book goes on to say how Americans started brushing their teeth.  It was advertising that made it happen.  An advertising company for Pepsodent said, “Run your tongue across your teeth.  Feel that film?  Brushing with Pepsodent will get rid of that.”  Meanwhile, so did swishing water around in your mouth or eating an apple, but that didn’t help to sell Pepsodent.  So, a teeth brushing tradition was born.


I’m trying to find my ewww-get-that-film-off, I-don’t-wanna-be-your-momma trigger.


The only thing that’s coming close for me is naming the body-parts I’m currently finding most annoying.  For example, I feel like I’m losing my chin.  I’ve never felt that I had any kind of structured jaw like a Marlboro Man or Jay Leno, my jawline has always been more curvy and womanly, but goddermn it – it was there.  Now…not so much.  And you never realize how important a chin is until it’s gone.  It’s like love in that sense.  No chin immediately leads to no neck and no neck is never good for anyone.  My second bodily annoyance is the appearance of a stomach.  I’ve always had an ass, but never a stomach.  My mid-section was washboard tight right up until my mid 30s where everything started to tell me to feck off around the torso back area.  The first body part to mutiny was my stomach.  Now the artist formerly known as, “brick wall” is more of a pouch and I can feel it sway in the breeze.  I don’t like it.  I don’t like feeling like I’m carrying around a baby bjorn satchel with no baby in it.  It just feels wrong.


My solution is to start calling myself, “Chief No Neck of the Swaying Pouch.”  I’m hoping this will cause the same trigger effect that being “Miranda’s momma” caused for Tanya.


Please, witness the abs on Chief Cross-trainer!

Heretofore, I will be referring to myself as “The Chief” every now and again.  This will indicate where I’m at in my “process,” which some might also call procrastination.  Now, you can NOT call me chief.  You can call me Sweet Mo or if you want to be positive, Chief Soon to Be Skinny Mo – Chief Soon, for short.  (I like the ring of that.  Chief Soon sounds like Swoon or it feels like I’m saying this male alter ego of mine is a pre-mature ejaculator.  As in, “Chief Soon!  Too Soon!  Either way, it’s exciting.)


I will call myself Chief and I will mean “Chief No Neck of the Swaying Pouch.”  You can call me, “Chief Soon,” which is your way of supporting me.  It’s sort of like blog therapy.  I come in with this problem and I’m self deprecating about it.  You say, no, no, that’s not true and it will happen soon, Chief Soon, and before you know it, I’m there.  I know it doesn’t seem fair that you can’t call me Chief No Neck.  But, it’s like I’ve been telling construction workers and catcalling black men on the NYC streets for years, “I can talk about my ass.  But, you talk about it and depending on my mood you’ll either get a smile or a kick in your swaying pouch and when I talk about YOUR swaying pouch, I’m not aiming for the stomach.  DO YOU UNDERSTAND, CHIEF ONE BALL OF THE HANGING THREAD??!!”


Ok, that’s all.  Chief Soon is signing off to hit the bike.  Sigh.


What about you and your habits?  Do you need a cue to get one going or are you some kind of habit savant?



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Photo credits:  indian, grinch-drink

33 thoughts on “Chief No Neck of the Swaying Pouch

  1. One thing I discovered about this writing life is that it requires a lot of time on the ass. I like to move around. So, I tell you, Chief Soon, if you feel the same way and want to get a little movement in while you write, get yourself a treadmill shelf. My hubby got me one for Christmas (I wanted a treadmill desk; he found a $39.99 plastic shelf instead, cheap butt), but it works great. I can walk at a slow speed while I write on my laptop. Much less risk of pounds on the hiney that way. 🙂 Good luck with whatever you try!

    1. i can NOT believe you write/ read and jog!!!!! and i thought i was motivated. seriously, rubes, that’s just incredible. ay yay yay. i’ve done my writing for the day and i just want to go home and chill, but now i’ve got to think about working out…IT SUCKS. i know i don’t have to tell you, but the ass it growing as the portfolio does…ay yay yay.

      1. I don’t jog, silly. I’d go flying off of the machine. I walk at a 2.4 pace. I find I can’t go faster than that and still type. But today I was on there for over 90 minutes and didn’t even notice the time, I was so absorbed in my writing. And it is so much better on my back than sitting in a chair, which on some days, is the whole reason I do it. Apparently I was not made for sitting in a chair all day.

        But no, it isn’t a sweat-breaking workout. Those I do in the early am. 🙂

  2. Great, funny post! My trigger idea or thought is that with no chin or neck my kids will not be able to see that they look like me! They all have their Dad’s light coloring but I swear their faces are all me! This thought always sparks some motivation!

    1. i think this is fantastic motivation! though, i’m not sure if popping out childrens will happen soon enough for me to lose a pound, in fact, it might give me every excuse in the book to gain! ugh! looool. xo, sm or Chief Swaying Pouch

  3. Dear Sweet Mo,
    We’re reading the same feckin’ book! 🙂 How cool is that? I’ve found that changing one small habit while keeping track of it will lead to more success. I’m working on changing my wake time so I can have extra time in the morning to work out. Keeping track of what you eat helps too! I use myfitnesspal.

    Love reading your blog, it always brings a smile to my face.

    1. we are SOOOO reading the same f’en book!!! and i have myfitnesspal on my droid!!!! not kidding. how weird. i have to find a way to stick or fit in my workouts to my daily routine. i already get up early to write. so, i don’t know what the hell i’m going to do, but i am going to figure it out! thanks for the kind words, lift (you certainly gave me one today..). you rawk! xo, sm

      1. Then add me on MFP! beautylovetruth We can be fitness buddies too 🙂

        If you watch TV or sit at the computer a lot, lift weights while you’re sitting and do leg lifts.

      2. she-sus christ, lift, you can add friends on there? you are far more advanced on me. i’ve only used it for calorie counting – you know keeping a diary of my cals, but i will now research this! xo, sm

  4. My “clue” was when I was stuck buying extra large sized clothes and they started getting tight. No feckin way was I going to go into some specialty store for the fat. My resolution this year was to lose weight and get back into shape. I bought the “Pink Method” dvd set. It’s an exercise and diet program. I followed it for about 3 and a half months until I started working full-time and didn’t have time for the long exercise sessions anymore but I am still eating healthy and enjoying it (no dairy, no meat, no bread, no sugar). I eat veggies, fruits and fish. I also cheat…almost nightly with some crispy minis or cheese doritos. I exercise when I have time and aren’t too tired. To date, I’ve lost about 35 lbs and several inches. 🙂

    1. that’s feckin’ amazing, wendos. i’ve lost around 4-5 lbs, but it keeps going up and down. i refuse to shop in the big girl store too. i’m not there yet, but lord knows it could happen. wifesy and i are giving up mexican too, ’cause we love it but it always makes us feel like poo. today i’ve had a frickin’ salad and all i want right now is a chocolate bar. sigh. chief swaying pouch is tired. so tired. lol. much love, sm

    1. tell. me. about. it. so my problem too. i’ve had a salad and a peach today. but, now i’m overtired and heading home from this job and contemplating eating a cake. i won’t really, but my thoughts are there! xo, sm and stay strong! ha, ha.

  5. My trigger is the maternity section of Wal-Mart. I found myself standing there the other night, thinking to myself, hey, THAT would fit and not look too bad. I have so stopped eating after 6 p.m.

    1. i SOOOOO do the same thing. i look at the maternity tops and i go that seems like an empire waisted shirt and then i go ohhhh it has a removable breast cup. what in the feck. it’s not okay, but my head does go there!

  6. What up Chief Soon? Wine is a culprit for me (I do like a nice, crisp Sav Blanc) and I too once had those rock-hard abs, now, not so much. The chin thing too, argh, but I cannot even fathom the idea of being put to sleep and someone slicing that stuff off. I try to workout at least 4x/week but it’s still ain’t what it used to be. Maybe the secret is growing old gracefully? Nah, that’s probably not gonna happen. Good luck toward embracing and/or ignoring those triggers, as the case may be. :).

    1. i know. the triggers must be embraced or run over, which is what i’d really like to do to them. right now chief swaying pouch would like to cuddle up with a nice box wine. i’m not kidding. i’m going to resist because i have to drive an automobile, but the urge is there…i’m just sayin’. loool. xo, sm

  7. Chief Soon…creative Sweet Mom.. 🙂
    my trigger is always my t shirts…am a girl who cant wear anything other than her tshirts, denims and canvas when i don’t fit in one of my t-shirts i know time for workout…
    lately i have started playing badminton every evening.. One of the intern from Brazil has inspired me alot..thanks to her non-top fitness and rugby talks…

    1. snug fitting tees are the BEST barometer for having to start a diet. only problem is i f’en hate diets. ay yay yay. and there’s not enough hours in the day for my workouts, but i’m going to have to make it happen by hook or by crook…

  8. Oh my god I just realized how much fun it must be to chill with a group of comedians! Nice post 🙂

  9. All the triggers I’ve found so far have been of the Doritos-eating, heavy-drinking variety. I need to find some good ones. Anything that would help me overcome my innate loathing of all things exercisey would be helpful. Maybe I just need to get a bunch of strangers together and pay them to insult me. Then I might work out — if only by taking long walks to get to a nice therapist.

    1. kathy, i would love to have a few drinks with you as we walk by our therapist’s home. you absolutely feckin’ kill me and i’m very happy you’re here. much love, mother

  10. I can’t say mine in public. I only have one really bad habit left to me, I think I will keep it for now. The rest, well they were stripped from me by nothing I did or had control of along with many of my good habits. Triggers? I have plenty of them, I struggle to work through how I address them but then I also acknowledge some will simply never be addressed.

    Great post.

  11. I work out nearly everyday, mixing up a lot of different things to keep it fresh. But you do have to make the time for it. Start slow and build up, both with exercise and dietary changes. Trying to do everything at once only sets us up to fail.

    The “high” from exercise doesn’t kick in right away, and for me it takes the form of more energy during the day. But when I was able to start buying smaller sizes, boy did that feel good! That was great motivation for me.

  12. If I were super strong willed I’d squeeze myself into some of my skinny clothes and walk around all day feeling as if I had a lap-band tied around my outside. Luckily I’m deep into self love so I’m going to get into comfy pj’s, crawl into bed and maybe think about some exercise…next week should be soon enough 😀

  13. My cue was turning 50. I had gained so much weight and I was sure I would have my 50th birthday and have a stroke and die. I made a conscious decision that I wanted to live. I lost 150 lbs. Then I lost my job. At the time I was sure I would be walking right into another one. I kept the weight off for a couple of years, but as I hit the 3rd year of still being out of work things changed. I changed and on came the weight. So, I too, am in search of a trigger to get rid of it again. Well, that and a job. 😉

  14. I have been a bad kid and haven’t been around for some time! 😦 but hey I am here now 🙂 wheeee! you know what, a lady once referred to me as my bf’s mother and I couldn’t stop laughing :p

    I guess I am crazy like that 😉

  15. Ha! I’ll be (desperately) curious to hear if you find that trigger, but in the meantime, your new Indian name is PRICELESS. My double-chin is definitely the number one body part motivator for losing weight. I feel like it’s impossible to look good, or good in pictures, if you’re fighting chin numero dos! But I’ve been a weight-loss rut for months. Maybe I need to permanently dangle a picture of my profile in front of my face… Sighed, I mean, Signed, Two Chins of Tribe Jerseylicious.

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