Wednesday, January 30, 2008

all is not right in mudville

i like to think of my drive home from work as an accurate reflection of the state of affairs in my head. sometimes i get caught at every single god forsaken light on the way home and sometimes i barely have to touch the brake. the past week i zipped right home, miraculously breezing through every single green light. today, however, i was not so lucky. i swear i stopped at every single friggin' red light, got stuck behind some mini-van-jalopy doing 10 miles under the speed limit, and got jammed up by buses and fed ex trucks in the parking lane (in l.a. there's an anti-gridlock initiative which forbids parking in the parking lane during rush hour... most of the time these lanes are a clear shot, but occasionally, some jack-ass gums up the works).

to keep my road rage in check, i've learned to accept excessive red lights as a little message from the universe telling me to slow it down and check myself. as pollyanna as this idea sounds, it actually works for me. i had kind of a crap day... woke up late, necklace broke getting out of my car, i ate a 20 point lunch and just didn't give a shit, got stuck at nearly ALL the lights on the way home.

i can feel the numbness creeping in at my edges since being home. so instead of succumbing to an evening of overeating and guilt, i'm going to chiggity-check myself before i wriggity-wreck myself. i invite the small frustrations of the day in, but i will not let them overwhelm me.

today i am grateful for... guy returning safely from a business trip
...busting out an unplanned, cute outfit for work even though i woke up late
...thomas' whole wheat english muffins
...a stellar 90 day new employee review w/ my boss
...the ability to recognize when i'm numbing myself and the grace and willingness to pull myself out of it cutie pie pupperoni who always welcomes me home with doggie exhuberance
...tivo + american idol = 20 min of funny auditions instead of an hour of ryan seacrest filler

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

you're my punk rock girl

this weekend i found my old tongue post and was tickled by the idea that my tongue piercing might still be open. i remember the piercing technician telling me that if i didn't wear the post at all times, it would close up very quickly. when i finally got a 'real' job a few years later, i was reluctant to remove the piercing so i bought increasingly smaller gauges and shorter posts so as to conceal my rebellion from my corporate gig. this was also about the same time that the spice girls exploded onto the scene and scary spice was titillating pubescent girls and 'cool' parents with her flashy new tongue jewelry. lame. i remember feeling so unique because i was still rocking a tongue ring, which was actually an eyebrow post - so it was waaay more discreet, and therefore, still cool. i was foolin' no one but myself...

so when i found the tongue post, nostalgia and curiosity got the better of me and i had to see if my piercing was still open. i was delighted to find that it hadn't closed up - well, maybe it closed up a little, but with a little force, i was able to jam the damn thing through my tongue. i wore it all night, enjoying the click-click-click against my teeth, checking my mouth out in every mirror i passed. but when i woke up the next morning, i became acutely aware of a dull throb in my tongue. the novelty had completely worn off and i was left with an irritating piece of metal in my mouth which i just wanted out. after pulling, prodding and tugging, i finally freed myself from the whimsical memento of my youth.

and yet, as sucky as it was to wake with that obtrusive tongue post stuck in my mouth, i feel conflicted about permanently letting go of this token of my young adulthood. i felt pangs of child-like defiance surface when i dared to think, "shit. this is not for me anymore." the twenty-something girl in me absolutely did not want to cede her grip on the reigns.

i realize that that part of me from the past no longer fits the current me. but it's tough for me to let go of the girl i used to be. i still find myself clinging to mementos of my college years, cherishing 'friends' from that era who add nothing to my life today, desperately holding onto my pierced tongue. becoming aware of these feeling, recognizing this pattern now feels as constricting as wearing a pair of shoes that are two sizes too small. why would i want to do that?

why try to fit my current life into the shape of my past? i'm so much wiser now. i'm happy with who i am today. i've worked hard to create a deeply satisfying life for myself and to appreciate the process and the journey of how i got to be where i am now. i've made peace and am still making peace with my self, my body. i have come so far from the days of that rebellious, tongue-pierced girl. yet, until now, i couldn't seem to let her go.

as i reflect on the past weekend, i realize that i don't want to be that girl anymore. i want to be who i am today. i want to fully embrace the woman i am right now. i will not forget your rebellious spirit, punk rock girl. i won't forget how cool, unique, and brave you were. i'll hold onto the courage you exhibited while trying to figure out those tumultuous college years. i honor our past because that's where you, my inner punk rock girl, created the building blocks of who i am today.

it feels a little uncomfortable settling into that thought, to let myself be an adult, to fully embody the idea. it's scary. to accept adulthood is to accept responsibility, accountability. and yet, if i hold up a mirror, the person looking back is certainly no girl. no, the reflection i see belongs to a beautiful thirty-something woman, a woman who's eyes shine not with the brightness and naivety of youth, but with the knowing sparkle of wisdom, of experience, of adulthood.

i'm going to keep that old tongue ring. i'll save it in the bottom of my jewelry box. i might come across it in another couple of years, but perhaps then, i won't feel the need to make it fit where it no longer belongs. i like the idea of accepting who i am today. it feels like relief. it feels empowering. i am an adult. i am responsible for my health. i am capable of taking care of and nurturing my body. i am accountable for my weight and i accept the responsibility to change it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

the best laid plans

last nite i went out for what i thought would be dinner... instead, what i got was a hearty helping of unending wardrobe malfunctions...

it all went downhill when i decided to wear a new black dress to meet my friend for dinner. soon after putting it on, i realized that the sales folks forgot to remove the obtrusive, plastic anti-theft device from the inner lining. had i the good sense that god gave me, i would have simply selected a different outfit for dinner, and returned to the store another day to have the sales folks remove the plastic shackle. instead, i decided that i could just cut the unruly thing out and no one would be the wiser. after all, the alarm was only attached to the black slip and not the SHEER top layer... once i frankensteined my beautiful new frock, i was horrified to discover that when the light hit the hem of the garment, my 'brilliant solution' was plainly visible.

not one to be undone by my foolish decision to TAKE SCISSORS TO A BRAND NEW DRESS, i decided i could still make it work if i wore a pair of black panty hose (after the whole pee hole panty line incident, i was still a little too gun shy for spanx) under the black hole. it was only after i was in the car headed to meet my friend that i realized there was a gaping rip the size of my fist, calf-height in the nylons, peeping up over the top of my boot. christ. seriously?? i was now heading to dinner looking less 'class act' and more 'rat's ass'.

once at the restaurant, i did as little walking as possible so as not to upset the delicate hole on the side of my leg... i managed to barely conceal the panty hose carnage by gingerly pushing the nylon down below the top of my boot. i also adopted a crafty swagger which kept the hem of my dress close to my leg, thus concealing the other hole. fortunately, we didn't have to wait long for a table.

the rest of dinner was without issue... until we left the restaurant and headed off for the car in the pouring rain. in the twenty feet sprint between the restaurant entrance and the valet stand my belt somehow slipped from my waist and tangled up at my ankle, tripping me up in my hundred yard dash. i grabbed the sopping wet strip of satin and hobbled the rest of the way to the valet shelter. i'm sure i must have looked like some kind of crazed hunch-back dragging a lame leg behind, grabbing at her tattered, billowing mumu, and trailing a long, limp garden hose around her leg (because when you buy dresses in the big girls' sizes, belts are the length of industrial extension cords and not the S, M, L sizes of the neatly merchandised belt rack at banana republic).

just when i thought i was completely undone, this hobbled bag-lady endured yet one more fashion injustice... as i turned to give my friend a farewell hug, my friggin' necklace broke, sending a shower of beads down my dress and into the gathering puddles. i couldn't help but laugh... and not the normal toss-my-hands-in-the-air-and-shrug kind of chuckle, but a maniacal, hyena, quick-move-away-from-the-crazy-lady laugh. needless to say the valet got my car pretty quickly...

the best part of the evening was finding still MORE beads after i got home - there were a few in my boot, three or four tumbled out of my underwear during a bathroom break, another fell out of my bra as i got ready for bed...

i gotta say, though, that dinner was amazing. my girlfriend from out of town was amazing. and as resistant to being fabulous as my outfit was, i felt nothing less than amazing, too...

all in all, a really nice night.

Friday, January 25, 2008

you're out of the woods, you're out of the dark, step into the light

i wish i had a green thumb. i would so love to be able to grow things. truth is, i’m terrible with plants. take, for example, the philodendron in my office. this hearty species is a sad testament to my inability to care for plant life. it hangs limply from its bookshelf perch, the edges of its leaves brown and curling in. it looks something akin to sick e.t. – pathetic, weak, straining to stretch a withered little tendril at me, pleading for… well, i’m not sure what it’s pleading for… water? sunlight? plant food? a phone call to home? and therein lies the problem… i don’t know what it needs. i read that they basically thrive on water once a week and do well under fluorescent lights… and yet the poor plant's sickly pallor tells me that my office is a torture chamber and i'm an axe-wielding executioner. if only that little plant could speak to me...

this morning i awoke easily and was delighted to find that the menstrual fog invading my head for the past two days has dissipated. welcoming this renewed, peaceful feeling, i tended to my morning routine in a great mood. as i was buzzing about the kitchen, my attention was momentarily diverted to the window sill where i’ve been conducting a little science experiment.

for christmas, i received a lovely gift: a delicate little flower kit containing three flower bulbs and three very small vases. this seemed like my kind of gardening – put bulb in vase. add water. how easy! how wonderful! hopeful that i might actually be able to grow something, i merrily set about prepping my little garden. within moments of putting the kit together, though, i was reduced to base frustration – i manhandled two of the [square] bulbs into the [round] mouths of the mini-vases, but was starting to cuss up a storm trying to get the third one in. see, i didn’t really read the instructions… instead, i just glanced at the directions on the box, saw three short lines of copy and figured i knew exactly what to do… turns out i didn’t. if i had read the three short lines of instruction, i would have understood that the bulbs should have been gently placed on the mouth of the vase. i was jamming these little bulbs INTO the tiny vases instead of placing the bulbs ON TOP of the opening of the vase. after a few more curses, i tried to right my wrong by removing the stubborn bulbs from their miniature glass prisons. this, of course, did not work and i was quickly nearing the point of having a shattered little flower kit, because, in my unending patience, i would inevitably take the path of least resistance and just smash those little fuckers against the ground. defeated and re-affirmed in my failed green thumbery, i filled the three vases with water, gingerly placed them on my window sill, and said a little prayer to the higher flower power that they might make it, despite their less-than-desirable welcome into my home.

i’ve been checking in with those lovely little bulbs for the past couple of weeks, urging them along, dutifully maintaining the water level. and today i was rewarded with the most brilliant gift: a sprout. a SPROUT!! a lovely light green, small and delicate, little shoot has burst forth into this world. i thought i was having a great morning, but the sight of this darling new shoot sent me higher. godspeed, little bud. you survived a very rough beginning. i had the best intentions for you, yet i didn’t pay attention to the instructions, shoving you, pulling you, treating you without respect. and yet here you are despite my mistreatment, in all your beautiful glory, defiantly announcing yourself: bear witness, world! and i say, "welcome."

today i feel clear, sane, and strong - ready to recommit to the weight watchers plan with renewed conviction and intention. i am grateful to the delicate little bud that has courageously chosen to make itself visible, to show itself to this world, to me. little plant, thank you for helping me to see that i, too, can blossom, that i, too, can have the courage to be visible, and possess the strength and will power to achieve weight loss success.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

memory loss, mammary gain

wooooooo doggie! i am one messed up menstrual mutha right now. today the hormonal fog was so very thick. work was nearly unbearable. fortunately, there's a lot of activity going on outside of the office this week, so for the few of us who were in today, it was relatively mellow with minimal interaction. thank god. because the few interactions i did have with others were challenging. i was struggling to string coherent thoughts together much less speak whole sentences.

i do, however, possess enough clarity of mind to know that i'm making bad food decisions. and silly me, i'm trying to blame my bad decisions on the fact that "i'm menstrual. i don't know what i'm doing. i can't control anything right now."

yesterday i got an email from a girlfriend who was feeling extremely guilty after hunting down chocolate cake at work and devouring a very large piece, especially since she had been eating really healthy all day. after tapping off a cheerleadery reply of reassurance, i started thinking, (cue homer simpson drooley noise) "mmmmmm. chocolate caaaaaaake." and dammit if i didn't wander down to the vending machines and purchase one of those horrifying little dense bricks of diabetes-inducing mini chocolate cakes.

who's driving here??

i will say, though, that i thoroughly enjoyed every single point-loaded bite of that cake... so much so I BOUGHT ANOTHER ONE TODAY!!!!

i say again, WHO IS DRIVING HERE?

your turn at the wheel is up, whatever part of me that navigated my ass down to the vending machines. rational me is cutting through the excuses and the fogginess and taking the reigns. no more chocolate cake. no more vending machines. no more excuses.
i know i can do. yes, it is challenging to retain mindful awareness especially since i momentarily have shit for brains. but i can and WILL do this.

i will have faith that my inner lighthouse will guide me through my temporary mental fog. onward to healthy frontiers! to weight loss! to feeling good in my skin! and away from the treacherous vending-machine-lined-shores.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

because i'm classy that way

one of my favorite sunday evening routines is fashion show. at the end of the weekend, i spend an hour or two raiding my closet, preparing cute outfits for the coming work week. i love everything about the routine: touching fabrics, playing with different garment combinations, coordinating colors/patterns, accessorizing. everything about fashion show delights me. but mostly i do it because when my tired ass rolls out of bed at the last possible minute in the morning, i know that i won't be late because i don't have to hem and haw in front of the closet for 40 more minutes trying to figure out what to wear.

today was no different. i wore a pretty wrap dress under a beautiful sweater with elegant lace detail. i paired the outfit with knee high black boots and spanx tights. i was sassing it up all over the office lookin' good and feelin' fine... the only downside to this kind of fabulousness is the spanx... and it's not really a downside because the benefits of spanx far outweigh any annoyance with them... until today...

on the weight watchers plan, i am required to drink a shitload of water every day... it goes to follow that i also take quite a few bathroom breaks... and with the bathroom breaks comes the wrangling of the spanx. getting into a clean pair of spanx first thing in the morning is a sight that no human should ever have to behold - it is a life or death struggle, often causing unnatural grunts and disfiguring twists that require the wearer to bend and torque in more ways than, say, an advanced yoga class would demand. profuse sweating and heavy breathing is sure to ensue... but dayum if those spanx don't smooth out every last bump, roll and dimple. spanx rule. getting in and out of them does not.

clever company that they are, the makers of spanx did their market research well... they even built in, for lack of a more dainty phrase, a giant pee hole so a lady would not have to spend additional time wrangling the spanx up and down in the confined space of a public bathroom stall. i, however, am not one of those gals who's really comfortable with the whole commando-pee-hole thing. i prefer to have all of my lady bits cloaked... so a-wranglin' i will go when i have to go...
what i was not fully aware of, though, is that all my wrangling throughout the day left me strutting around the office with a rather unfortunately positioned visible panty line... or perhaps a more appropriate term would be visible pee-hole line. it wasn't until i got home tonight that i happened to catch a glimpse of my backside in the mirror...

behold the horror! the embarrassment! the... intrigue??? i had hiked my spank so far up that the giant pee hole was stretched to a visible position on my ass. the strain of the spanx, just doin' what spanx does best (holding in like sausage casing), was causing a terribly disfigured ledge to form as my gratuitous booty escaped through the pee hole.
holy crap! did i seriously walk around all day looking like i had loaded pants (or rather, a cute little, albeit loaded, jersey wrap dress)?! christ!

oh well. what i'll hold onto today is 1. the ability to laugh at myself; and 2. how confident and comfortable in my skin i felt not only when i walked out the door this morning, but all day; and most important, 3. to always check myself out from the rear before leaving the house.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

waiting for the dust to settle

just wanted to give myself props for having a totally full and productive sunday:
  • got up at a decent hour
  • made a gourmet breakfast
  • did 6 or 7 loads of laundry
  • deep cleaned the kitties' area
  • re-arranged the living room furniture
  • cleaned the bedroom
  • scoured the kitchen
  • re-arranged and hung new photos
  • dusted
  • went for a family walk w/ my guy and the doggie
  • prepared an amazing dinner
and now that i sit and reflect, treating myself to an exquisitely made vodka tonic and finally kicking back, i can't help but think that something else besides sheer burst of energy drove my frenzied cleaning and re-arranging today. as i read over my list of accomplishments, the first word that comes to mind is MANIC. upon further reflection, i attribute this mania to three things:
  1. full moon
  2. pms-crazies
  3. i have been running from something all day
i have long been witness to my own physical and mental changes when the moon is full. i am a believer that the full moon affects me. so, weirdness abound is to be expected. i also usually have some sort of pms insanity going on when the moon is full - this just compounds the complexity of any deep emotions that might come up right now. finally, shortly after i woke this morning, i decided that today i wanted to hang some new photos... none of the rest of the stuff on my day's list of accomplishments existed at this point. first thing i did was to thumb through some old photo albums. this is when the levee broke...

i happened upon a photo album from 7 or 8 years ago. the photos were from a time in my young adulthood where i was floundering, trying to figure out who i was and who/what/where i wanted to be/do/go. during that time, i found myself delving into a very very dark place, a place where i hid for a couple of years. it was a place of deep shame, hiding from true friends and family, a place of denial, lies. my life today resembles nothing of those dark years - nowadays, i aspire to exist as a being of light. i threw myself into years of therapy trying to 'figure it all out'. i grew up. made peace. moved on... or so i thought.

today i came across a photo album containing images from that troubled era of my past. the photographs stopped me cold in my tracks. i was looking at pictures of a girl i barely knew. and yet i was also looking into eyes that were deeply familiar.
my stomach flipped as my eyes recognized a part of me from so long ago. i turned a page in the album. a hot burn rose to my cheeks as i remembered those days. i turned another page. faster and faster, i flipped through the pages of that album. i needed to flip past those photos faster, so they were no longer visible, so they were eclipsed by the exposure of the next page, and safely hidden. i feared that if i stayed too long examining any of those pictures, the girl from so long ago would creep back in, take over, send me into the flames of shame and darkness of those days. i got scared. i panicked. and yet, i could.not.put.the.album.down. i struggled to remember strange, pallid faces, club backdrops, half-lidded eyes and sleepy grins of people i used to hang out with. i could now barely remember those lost souls, none of whom i kept in contact with, all of whom are completely irrelevant to current me.

i've been running from those photos all day. i've been running from the memory of that girl all day. i've been cleaning and scouring my house ALL DAY because all i really wanted to do was clean and scour the me in those photos. the me in those photos was lost. i was broken. i was exploring the darkness because i didn't think i was worthy of the light. it was as if the act of cleaning of my home could cleanse not only my soul but also memories of the darkness i crept into during my early adulthood.

i think that rehashing the memory of the girl in those pictures, coupled with the fucked up friday night i had in the presence of another very dark being have led me to this place of feeling unsettled. i feel like some emotional dust was stirred up when i looked in that photo album - like the girl in those pictures never found true peace. throughout all those years of therapy, my work revolved around my formative years, the hurt and wounds of a child. my therapist and i NEVER TALKED about the fucked up shit that went down during my dark years.

i so desperately want resolution for that girl. i want peace for that girl. i want peace for me. but for right now, all i can do is be cognoscente of the deep feelings that came up for me today. soon i will be able to go back to that photo album and sit with each image, let each photo into the light, let it be exposed long enough for me to take in every detail. but for right now, all i can give is recognition.

i know you exist within me, dark girl. i know you haven't yet found peace.
here is my promise to you: i will remember you. i will honor you. i will make room for you in my heart and in my memory. you are part of me. and together, we are whole.

about last night...

to express her gratitude for helping her out while her car was recently in the shop, one of my co-workers (co-worker 1) invited me and my guy over for some wine and company. another co-worker (co-worker 2) who also played good samaritan would be joining usin the festivities, too. being the ever dutiful guy that he is, my guy reluctantly agreed to go and keep a good game face despite the fact that he feared we would be spending the evening mired in work talk. i've been at my current job for less than 4 months. new city. new job. no girlfriends. so it seemed like a fun thing to do to meet some gals from work for a few glasses of wine and some harmless office chatter. boy, was i wrong. upon our arrival, co-worker 1 greeted us innocently enough, poured us a glass of vino, and sat us down at a table full of hor d'oeuvres... then began talking... for 45 min straight... about her world. and this was just the beginning....

...over the course of the evening, co-worker 1 got drunk, and the drunker she got, the more hostile she got... especially towards me and my guy. it became increasingly clear that this gal's competitive nature runs deep and in a very dark, very sick way. my guy and i were basically fielding an attack of insults the entire time we were her 'guests'. let's see if i can tally up the body count:
  • endured about 30 min (no joke) of one question: "how much do you make." (30 min because i refused to answer and she refused to quit asking)
  • was called some variation of fat TO MY FACE one confirmed time and very possibly a second time
  • was ridiculed for living in one of the premier areas of town
  • was ridiculed for driving the car i drive
  • was told that the only reason i have my job is because she didn't want it
  • more times than i can count my guy was referred to as a douchebag because of the prestigious field of work he's in
SERIOUSLY?? next time, honey, a simple thank-you will do.

and where was everyone else during this barrage of barbs? right there, witnessing the verbal attack, DOING NOTHING. co-worker 2 sat around, meekly smiling, not offering much. co-worker 1's new roommate was equally as horrified, but glad to not be the victim of her attention for once.
the best part, though, of this whole CRAZY evening, is that this gal, co-worker 1, was SO over the top with her venomous reception of us that we couldn't help but find humor in the whole debacle:

"stop being a liar, belly. how mush do you make?"
i haven't lied about anything and i'm not going to tell you. AND this question is entirely inappropriate.
"look, i don't really care. good. i'm glad for you. i'm happy you are doing well."

great. thanks.

"just tell me how mush you make."



"fine. then i'll [hiccup] stop helping you at work" (co-worker 1 is a glorified admin. i have an office. i rely on her to take care of glorified admin tasks to get my job done.)
aw, come on. i need you. you can't stop helping me.

"then tell me how mush you make."

"fine. i hate you. i'm quitting shoon, anyway."

really? you can't. what are we going to do without you?

"how mush do you make."

"come on. don't be a liar. just tell me how mush you make."

relieved to finally be free from her negativity and darkness, at the end of the night my guy and i fell into our car and laughed the entire way home.
"what the HELL was THAT??!" we giggled. the drive home was filled with chuckles and tittering at recounting just how utterly insane the whole ordeal was.

today, i found myself mulling over numerous flashbacks from last evening. i was a little unsettled at the fact that my day was consumed with recollection of yesterday evening's events. i finally realized that i should be grateful to co-worker 1. in a strange way, she solidified for me just how confident, strong and successful i am. among other insults, i stared down taunts of being called fat to my face (horror of horrors!!) with the grace and dignity of a wizened mother patiently batting away the irrational tantrum of a five-year-old. i have a very nice life. i have a great guy. i have a good job. and, most surprising to myself, i do not crumble under the weight of being called "big" in front of a room of people.

here's to finding peace. peace within ourselves, within our lives, in our relationships, with our jobs, with our bodies. peace be with you, co-worker 1.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

crap. only three more days til d-day?!

that delicious d-day is, of course, the weigh-in day... and i am sweatin' the load like crazy... why? because i'm starting to fall off the bandwagon and back on to the chuckwagon... my weigh-in last week was another nail-biter. i had talked myself into delaying the weigh-in by just one more day so i could get a really good day of eating healthy and exercise in, hoping that that one day would make up for a week's worth of half-assed healthy eating. much to my surprise, i overcame my fear of the scale and was delighted to find that 1. i had the courage to go through with the regularly scheduled weigh-in and 2. i was only up by half a pound.

there are a couple of things wrong here:
1. happy about being up by any amount is sick sick sick. seriously? the crazy shit i can talk myself into sometimes...

2. i have been playing fast and loose with the plan and have denied the inevitable repercussions of neglecting said plan.
3. trying to talk myself into delaying the weigh-in is the same kind of dangerous thought that will lead me down the road to perdition... i've spent years talking myself out of control with food and into denial about my true pant size.

4. the lion's share of two bottles of wine on a 'school' night is surely NOT part of the plan no matter how i try to fudge the ww points math. holy hell. what's happening to me??
5. i fear the scale, yet i am obsessed with the scale.

so here's how i'm going to right the wrongs:
1. be mindful of the goal at all times. what's the goal? LOSE weight... no more delusions of happiness because i narrowly escaped a huge increase by sustaining a small increase.
2. weigh-in day is hard and fast.
3. be mindful of the unhelpful talk that goes on in my head. eating healthy, exercise, being accountable, being AWARE - these are all qualities that will help me with the goal. when i catch myself trying to talk myself into one more glass of wine or food that i know ain't ww worthy, i will remember the goal. i will allow the negative thoughts in and let them exist, but i will not let them control my actions. (this one is going to be the hardest part, but i know i can do this.)

4. chill out with the cocktails. this one is also going to be difficult because i love me some wine. i love my down time, snuggling with my guy and/or the pets, and a nice glass of white in beautiful stemware. it feels decadent, luxurious - and i feel like i deserve the finer things. well, i also deserve to be healthy and to move with the grace and ease of a body unencumbered by XXL pounds.

5. the scale will not rule my life. i will stick to weighing in once a week on my designated day and not 15 times every day.

and above all, i will be gentle with myself as i move forward in this process. i am changing my lifestyle slowly, but surely. i have stuck with this plan for 8 weeks and have sustained a net loss of 5 pounds. these are huge accomplishments.

Monday, January 14, 2008

how about a fat-girl chair, 1-800-DENTIST?

i am dying to get a ass in to see the dentist. it's been about two years and i could really use a good teeth cleaning. having moved to a new city a year ago, i have postponed this task for one reason and one reason alone:

i'm scared i'll be too fat for the dentist's chair.

i'm thinking about calling 1-800-DENTIST and asking if they can cross-reference a nearby dentist with my one need: an XXL chair to accommodate my XXL butt. surely 'fat-girl chair' is one of the metrics listed in their database ('5,10,15 mile radius from home' ; 'male or female dentist'; 'type of insurance accepted'; 'chair size'...)

of course, this is an irrational fear. i'm not too much larger than i was when i last saw a dentist. i fit comfortably in the chair then. i'm certain (this is rational me talking here) that i will fit comfortably in my new dentist's chair.

but still (irrational me, here), i have this catastrophic fantasy of waddling into the exam room, boom-boom, boom-boom. the ground quivers beneath my short, heavy strides. i squeeeeeeeeeeeze into the chair (because in my catastrophic fantasy the shelf holding the tools doesn't move and is permanently perched over the chair, like a vice). the metal chair groans under my girth, threatening to lurch over, sending me smearing across the feet of the delicate, little hygienist and spilling sterile dental tools across the floor. i barely breathe for fear of shifting the seat, causing the aforementioned upset. fearing my hefty jaw might snap closed on her small hands, the hygienist dons metal diving gloves, the kind that protect divers from the razor sharp teeth of man-eating sharks, before climbing the 'extension-ladder' that allows her to perch over my mass and attend to my recommended routine teeth cleaning.

i jest. i know it won't be that bad. deep down, here's what i'm really scared of: i will be rejected by the dentist because i don't fit into the dental chair and she/he will have to decline to help me. ouch. that would suck so bad. utter humiliation.

well, i'll tell you what, Utter Humiliation, i'm making room for you. come on in. there's room for you to exist in my heart and in my head because i know that the fear driving you is only a means of self protection. i know that your best intention is to protect me from the world. and i love you for that. i appreciate what you are doing. but i'm taking the reigns now. i've got this one handled. i'm going to make a dentist appointment this month because i am taking care of my body and my teeth need to be cleaned. it is not likely that i won't fit in the chair. it is not likely that the dentist or the hygienist will even remember me after my appointment. they see tens of folks a day for recommended routine teeth cleaning. but even if i don't fit in the chair, even if the dentist or his/her hygienist declines to attend to me, i'll take my business elsewhere. and it will be ok.

it will be ok. and if the chair does collapse under me... i'll sue their asses.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


last night i had a strange dream. it felt foreign, as if it didn't belong to me. like someone else was dreaming inside my head. in the dream, i felt unsettled and unhappy about my surroundings...

my guy and i found ourselves in a new apartment, but much to our dismay, it was in complete disrepair. the old tenant was still moving the last of his furniture out while we were there. he noted a particularly large hole in the hardwood floor, damage he took responsibility for. when the old tenant finally vacated, i walked around the new place, horrified that the landlord hadn't cleaned, repainted, repaired in anticipation of our arrival. while surveying the cleaning and repair that needed to be done, i was momentarily able to see beyond the dirt and admire the amount of living space in the apartment, as well as the unique layout. however, my ability to see beyond the immediate needs of the apartment soon dissipated into my horror and discomfort at the current state of the place. so much was my discontent that we ended up in another apartment. this one, although clean and freshly painted, was much smaller and felt equally unsuitable for living. the layout was uninspired, the colors clashed and there was carpet (i HATE carpet - it's like a giant, permanent dirt trap.)

it's rare that i ponder my dreams upon waking. even the dreams that leave me unsettled or scared or feeling wonderful - i might give a moments thought to them, but the memory of them soon disappears into the grind of the day. though there is one type of dream that will give me pause... dreaming of my home, a house, an apartment, any space where i take up residence - these are the dreams that float around my thoughts well into the day...

a few months after i really started getting in to therapy, i had a conversation with my guy in which i intimated to him the details of a particularly powerful dream i had the nite before: i was throwing my mom out of my house (at the time i was doing A LOT of work in therapy around breaking negative patterns learned from my mom). the dream was rife with emotion, emotion that stayed with me well into the day. after patiently listening to my dream recap, my guy gently proposed that the "house" in my dream was actually a metaphor for me, my Self. hmmm. it made sense. i was consumed with identifying and changing negative legacies inherited from my mother and my days were filled with emotion from healing my mother issues. so it would make sense that the subconscious of my dreams would capture the intensity of my daytime consciousness. the dream in which i threw my mom out of my house meant that i was healing. it meant that i was throwing her out of my head, my heart, my Self. i was reclaiming me for Me.

this is why i remember the dreams where my home is a main character. dreams of home are like my internal compass. reflecting on those dreams provides an accurate sense of what's really going on with me. so, after an entire afternoon contemplating the weird dream i had last night, i feel good about the direction my internal compass is pointing. here is the message my True Self gave to me last nite:

You are at a crossroads. You are at the place you have been many times before on Your journey towards a peaceful, loving relationship with Your Body. a familiar part of You, the part of You that has done much damage by abusing food, is moving out, allowing a new part of You to move in. yes, this mentality is foreign, yes it is unsettling, yes there is much work to be done to restore the relationship between Your Body and Mind, but We will do it together. You have the strength to walk this new path. You know what the other path looks and feels like and it has brought You here, to this crossroad. Your Body is sacred. It welcomed the last tenant and bravely endured that part of You. It is scarred and heavy and damaged, but not beyond repair. Your Body is Yours. It is ready to receive love and care and attention.

i've really been struggling with weight watchers this past week. i've found i'm at the place i've been many times before... i managed to eek my weight down a few pounds but, like so many times before, my good intentions and work fall to the wayside and i go back to shitty eating behaviors. the other day i offered up a prayer that i get through the next couple of 'crazy' weeks without blowing my ww plan. i think my dream last night answered my prayer.

and to my Self i say I am ready to give.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

crazy-making lady bits

ah heightened hormones... sometimes ye are the bane of my very existence. i can count on you to make me an absolutely unrecognizable nut-job for a good two to three (and sometimes, if i'm lucky, four) solid weeks out of the month. my respite from emotional helter skelter has once again given way to all out bat-shit-crazies...

last nite it started innocently enough and without my knowing... i ran around the house after work in a cleaning frenzy... but not just any cleaning frenzy. it was the type of frenzy that would put any ADD, sugar addled kid to shame. the frenzied cleaning part wasn't the problem. the problem was that i could only spend 30 - 45 seconds on a task before jumping into the next thing... before finishing all the various chores that i started, i ended up crashed out on the bed, drooling on a crossword puzzle. this is how my guy found me when he came home.

"did you overdose?" he asked coyly, noting my unnatural, splayed position on the bed and my drooly crossword.

"unghHHHHH" was my irritated response.

"you look like you've taken big game tranquilizers.... what's wrong wit.... uh oh. are you... premenstrual?" he gingerly asked as he slowly backed out of the bedroom.

judging from the way he flattened himself against the wall and tried to sneak out of there unnoticed, i knew he was bracing for some kind of maniacal response from me. fortunately, through my menstrual induced crazy-haze, i was able to see the hilarity in the moment and started to laugh.

the rest of the evening held more of the same... me chattering on like a crazed chatty cathy one moment, then falling into a near-coma stupor the next... following my guy around while he cleaned up all my half-finished cleaning projects...
today, however, was much more tolerable. though i can sense the emotional instability creeping into my sanity like the first wisps of menstrual fog crawling forth from the shore, today was somewhat back to normal. all bets are off for tomorrow though...

so while i have the clarity of mind (at least i think i do), i'd like to offer up a little prayer that i make it through the next couple of weeks without too much fallout from 'altered me'. and even if it gets really crazy up in 'dis muuuug, there's room for it. just please, god, jah, allah, goddess, please, regardless of the insanity i may suffer in the coming days, please help me stick to something that even remotely resembles my daily weight watchers points... and even if i can't do that, just help me from careening too far off into an ocean of chocolate.

i am woman. hear me roar. then laugh. then cry. then laugh again. then laugh harder. then cry again, laughing a little while crying. then yell. then cry some more. then.....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

me want food

i am struggling. the past two days have been particularly difficult for me with food. i find myself abiding by the weight watchers guidelines until i get home from work, then i eat non-stop – right up until bedtime - wracked with guilt for doing so.


‘because i’m hungry' is my immediate response. this is no real answer, though. this is the lazy reply of a little kid. rarely do i bother delving a little deeper, asking myself “hungry for what?” instead, i feel that gnawing presence of my belly, mistake it for physical hunger, and without thinking, without really feeling what’s going on inside me, i head to the kitchen and start scouring the cupboards. there is a sickness in my scavenging but there is also comfort. i know this routine is not good for me, yet i don’t allow myself to pause and figure out what it is i’m REALLY starving for.

a few days ago, i started pondering addiction, my addiction: food. i quietly focused while trying to duplicate the feeling that i get when i’m in the midst of a binge, stuffing anything, everything as fast as I can down my gullet. you know what i came up with? what i felt? numbness.

binge eating brings numbness.

it's not really a 'void' or 'nothing' or blankness'; 'nothing' suggests the absence of anything. numbness, however, suggests the presence of something, yet an inability to engage it. when i succumb to the 'need to feed' i am, in essence, a friggin' zombie. instead of clamouring for more "par-ee-medics", i find myself trying to sate my hunger with a pear, an apple and peanut butter, a reese's candy bar, a frozen pizza, a handful of triscuits, a few olives, a handful of craisins, creme brulee that's been in the freezer long enough to develop a crystallized winter city on it's surface... eating and eating until the needle on my internal fuel tank rises well past "full".

this is what i can do for myself at this moment: 1. be aware of my comfort in numbness and 2. honestly record the points of everything i eat. and this is enough for now. it's ok
that i ate thirteen points more than my daily weight watchers allotment. i am aware and accountable. getting to the next level will come...

as daunting as the journey to a sound relationship with food may seem, there is light at the end of the tunnel… actually, it's closer than the end of the tunnel. this very moment i’m blessed with the presence of light and the calm it brings. this afternoon at work, a gal from another department ambled by, peeping her head into my office, whispering about pie leftover from afternoon office festivities in her department, "hurry up and get it! it needs to be gone before the end of the day" - the way she said it - the low, husky tone of her voice, the breathless, hurried excitement of a gilded secret, the glimmer of diabetic shock in her eye - it was as though she was intimating sacred directions - from one fat girl to another - about how to find the treasure. before heading off to extend her invite to another gal, she mentioned something about eating too much pie herself, worrying about having it go straight to her capricious ass and feeling guilty about how much of it she ate. girlfriend, i know the guilt of which you speak all too well.

perhaps it was the tone of her words. perhaps it was the fact that she chose to disclose the bounty of pie to only a few folks in my area, including me. or perhaps it was the way she denied herself absolute delight over an afternoon piece of pie by decrying her largess and therefore her right to wholly enjoy a simple piece of pie. (or perhaps it was the three 1-point weight watchers chocolate cakes i had already devoured over the course of this afternoon...) maybe it was all of these together that gave me pause. i was left a little stunned at her own admonishment of self, and, well, it felt very familiar. i'm grateful to this office pie cryer. strangely, her words left me feeling at peace with the pie, peace that was strong enough and steadfast enough for me to hold on to it through the evening. normally one to jump at the invitation of free sweets, this time I didn’t feel the need to quietly sneak attack the snack table in the pie department. it feels good to not need food just because it's there. it feels good to be offered something yummy and to be able to turn it down. it feels like peace. it FEELS.

and so it is this serenity that comes from saying "no" that i choose to hold on to as i go home tonight. i don't need to reverse carpet bomb the fridge. i am strong enough to confront whatever it is that i've been eating down these past couple of days. i invite it to the surface and offer it a place in my heart, and room in my belly.

Friday, January 4, 2008

one more f.u...

oh yeah. and one more big f.u. to ill-fitting, cheaply made fat girl jeans. no more. out with the old, unflattering, bought-in-an-
exasperated-state because-there-was-nothing-else-
that-fit and-i'm-a-shopaholic jeans and in with the judiciously-purchased, fabulous wardrobe items.

it is pouring today - a welcome winter sigh in this crusty, old, dry city. running the few yards from a primo parking spot to my back door left me utterly drenched. with all of my 'after-work' attire crumpled up under weeks worth of laundry, donning comfy dry duds for the remainder of fun-ass friday proved to be a challenge... piles upon piles of laundry in the hamper(s) means slim pickins in the wardrobe. it is rare that i find myself choosing between those articles of clothing that have somehow survived multiple decades and the crap that made its way to the bottom of the pile because, well, it's shitty... but tonight was one of those nights. i found 'em. the ill-fitting, slightly too big in all the wrong areas, cheap denim jeans that i bought for a bargain at one of my favorite discount stores... and i've been tugging, pulling, and picking at them uncomfortably all night.

in the spirit of the new year, new beginnings, cleaning out the old and eschewing in the brand spankin' new, these shitty fat girl jeans are going right in the trash. tonight. ...along with the lack of sense that led me to purchase such jeans...

f.u., weight watchers

a few weeks ago i took the plunge for a second time - the plunge being that scary-ass dip into the pool of organized weight loss. having heard myriad recent success stories from girlfriends and my folks, i decided to sign up with weight watchers online. gag. i was totally riding the high from the contagious excitement of hearing stories of 13 lbs lost! 11 lbs lost! someone else with a resounding 30 lbs lost!! i want that for me! so, with great expectations and ample courage i signed up with ww.

now this is not the first time ww and i have crossed paths. the first time i decided to jump on the bandwagon, and off the chuckwagon, was a few years ago when the ww lady came a-callin' at my place of work. she brought with her a veritable eden of healthy lifestyle changes, promises of weight loss at my own pace, PERMANENT loss, and all the while eating real food. hell yeah. where do i sign? the charm and charisma of ww wore off in exactly 1 and 1/8 meetings. little did i know that i was to become completely demoralized and shamed beyond repair by the weigh in of the second meeting. as i see it, i was doomed from go for a few reasons: 1. the weekly meetings took place at the corporate offices where i worked. (what the HELL was i thinking??) 2. the program happened to coincide with some fairly intense therapy around emotional eating. (SERIOUSLY. what was i thinking?!) 3. i gained 2 freaking pounds in the first week, and to my horror, was called out by the very same ww woman who, just a week earlier, promised me eden.

"oh" she said when, having summoned more courage than i thought possible, i stepped onto the public-scale-of-shame in front of a long line of my co-workers.

"two pounds up?" queried the voice of damnation. i could feel my shame burning the skin right off my chest and face in the form of a deep blush. i felt exposed. desperate. i wanted her to stop talking. just shut up. just shut the hell up, lady!!

"well what's going on? are you following the program?" i think it was at this point that i started to stammer on about some pitiful excuse. i had already spent more time on the public-scale-of-shame than the other folks who weighed in before me. i felt like every moment longer i had to stand up there and explain why i gained two friggin' pounds was drawing more attention to myself, to my weight gain, to my failure. i felt raw and vulnerable and it

finally free of the weigh-in humiliation, i dutifully folded in with the rest of the group who were now happily chirping amongst themselves about their successes over the week. one of the ladies-from-accounting (one who was always particularly nasty to me) plopped down next to me and challenged me, "so how much weight did YOU lose this week?" i told her i'd rather not talk about it. she stared a moment longer at me and harumphed around in her seat to chat up someone else. i sat for a few moments longer with the group, while hot, embarrassed tears struggled to spill over - my best intentions not to cry trying to hold them back. i think i stayed for a few moments longer before i quietly got up and went to the bathroom. where i proceeded to silently sob. weep. it was horrifying. here i was at my place of business and i was just branded with a scarlet "2" in front of co-workers on the public-scale-of-shame and now i was crying in the last stall in the ladies restroom.

needless to say i did not return to the meeting... i didn't return to any of the meetings even though i had paid in full for a few months. so you can understand that it was a particularly big decision on my behalf to sign up once more with good ole ww. this time, however, it felt quite a bit different. i signed up online so i wouldn't have to face the public-scale-of-shame... even if it was in front of supportive strangers.

imagine my horror resurfacing in completely new ways this time. my first week was more of a test run - an eye-opener, if you will. i was made acutely aware of just how much i was eating in a single day... just how much BEYOND what i was supposed to be eating to start losing at a slow, steady pace. resisting the urge to just not record a point or two, i decided that i would take the challenge and write down every last point of every last bite i took. i felt ready. this felt different from before. even though it was scary, it still felt safe to take this challenge.

after being on ww for one week, and facing down my first weekly weigh-in, this is what i have to say about the whole experience:

dear ww,

how dare you make me write out every single god-forsaken thing i put into my mouth.
how dare you give me 31 measly points to eat a day - points that taunt my every meal and snack and glass of wine and glass of wine and glass of wine.
how dare you.
the past four days have been eye-opening, indeed, you scoundrel...
i am now wholly aware of just how many resplendent calories i consume on a daily basis - how could i not be, when, at the end of day one, i had exceeded my 31 points by an additional 20 points...
at the end of day two i drunkenly type in the last of my caloric intake, and you mockingly return a daily tally of 45 points!
this after i starved myself all day for you...

today you greeted me with an excited declaration, a declaration full of hope and of good-things-to-come: Today is your weight tracking day! and as giddy as a newly initiated sorority girl, i gleefully respond to your excitement by hauling out the dirty old scale, the harbinger of doom, for you. with joy in my heart and a lightness in my step, i get on, anxiously awaiting the result, as you promised, to shed 1 pound, or, if lucky, 2 glorious pounds.

imagine my horror to see the digital readout floundering 1 or 2 pounds HIGHER than my start weight.
your only acknowledgment comes in the form of a silent, mocking small orange incline on the weight tracker chart.
F.U. ww.
i dream of going home after work today and sulking into a pint of haagen daas.
yet you deal the final, cruel blow, demanding that i get out and move my ass if i want that damn ice cream, and even then, you only allow me 1/2 cup.

damn! this is exactly the demoralizing turn of events that happened to me the last time i tried ww. i totally started panicking, ate everything in sight and GAINED weight. but this time will be different. this time i'm not responsible to some lame ww nazi who will publicly chastise me in front of the rest of my co-workers who are waiting to get weighed. this time i am responsible to myself.

i am bound and determined to ride this out. i'm going to give myself the space to get over the initial freak out and let it be ok if i gain weight at the start of this. i will stick with it. i will succeed. i will be kind to my body. it will be hard and i will stumble. but i will stick with it...

and i have stuck with it... for five weeks now. and i have actually lost 7 lbs. and that feels really f'ing good.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

whaddya expect if you never take a risk?

not too long ago, my guy and i were fondly recounting his success in the last couple of years - he's worked really hard and has quite a bit to show for it - music that's noticed, a funny website, a fantastic dream job. at some point in our conversation, i wondered why i couldn't count the same kind of successes for myself- i mean i, too, am really passionate - and about so much! so why is it that my repertoire of worldly talents has gone unnoticed?? i mean i AM fabulous for cryin' out loud!

"whaddya expect if you never take a risk?" my guy innocently asked me.

blink. blink.

"you have a lot of projects and you are talented at so many things... but the difference between you and me is that i actually take the risk and put my shit out there... out there to be seen, to be judged on my creativity by an elusive anonymous." weisenheimer. ok. i get it. my guy is talented AND sensible. i'll show him i can take a risk... right after i prove it to myself...

so here i come, risk. here i come. here's my attempt at openness and blatant honesty in the face of unknown judgement. and yet, before i can start taking risks with my fashion or photography or jewelry making, before i can display those projects to the world, i've got to start with baring that which is closer to home. here's my attempt at finding peace, at gingerly tending a beautiful blossom of self - even in the dead of winter. i'm ready to be visible. i'm ready to take the ultimate risk and bare myself right down to my big ol' belly...

i have spent A LOT of my life in the throes of recurring negative thoughts about self and body... mostly, my not nice thoughts target my stomach region. i am an emotional eater. i carry more weight than my bones should have to bear. since i can remember, food has served secondarily as fuel, a means of life, and primarily as a means to sanity, safety, discomfort, and psychosis. i stuff, therefore i am. i stuff and stuff and stuff.
and my belly takes it. it takes all the food and emotion i can shove down. and it holds it. my belly stretches and expands and adapts to all my neuroses. i have spent far too long hating and shaming myself, specifically my big, beautiful soft belly - symbol of feminine, mother, center of my self.

for holding me in your soft embrace for so very long, Belly, i am ready to risk vulnerability, shame, fear, and embarrassment in the name of release, in the name of health. you deserve a much needed break from holding me - holding me in, holding me up - while i've been holding you down, Belly. you deserve love and appreciation.

today i accept change. i welcome my feminine. i cherish the center of my self. i seek to nurture my self. this is the challenge i accept - to use my voice and my words to heal, to resist using food to choke. today i honor my body, my belly and will continue to so through daily posts, songs from my truest, depth - notes from my belly.