Monday, June 30, 2008


i went to my sister's graduation recently. it was a whirlwind weekend for not only my sister, but for my folks, too. my dad arrived on thursday, i flew in on friday and my mom showed up on saturday. and the main event on sunday. in addition to attending all things graduation, my sis and my folks were preparing her condo to sell - the weekend was full of pomp and circumstance, paint brushes and belt sanders. i had a delightful time and even got to spend some rare, quality time with just my dad and sister, kicking around lovely seattle.

in on friday, out on sunday. a special trip to tiffany's for a little something for dad's favorite daughters. a shopping spree in nordstroms. miles and miles of walking around downtown and capitol hill. and eating to the point of pain at every meal. despite all the great memories, the one that has lingered with uncomfortable clarity is that i completely overstuffed myself at every.single.meal. all weekend long. we stopped in a cute little divey indian restaurant the first night and i ate so much that i was still uncomfortable even after the movies the same night. the next day we went to the seattle space needle for a decadent brunch, where i repeated the stuffing cycle that left me feeling bloated, tired, and immobile even through the tiffany's visit and clothes shopping. later that evening, we had pizza and champagne while we celebrated my sister and freshened up her home. the next day, we rushed off to an early graduation and then to another brunch... where i gorged myself not only on the extravagant breakfast buffet, but also had a quarter of my sister's burger.

what the fuck was going on? i haven't eaten like this in months and months. the whole thing felt sick and out of control. something about being with my family brings this out of me... there was no animosity, no fighting, none of the usual, predictable behavior that usually ensues when two or more of my family members get together. so why the need to stuff? what was i worried about? what was i trying to smother inside of me? the worst part is that i noticed my dad eating way more than he usually does, too. since his heart surgery, he's lost thirty pounds, he eats healthy, he's walking 5 miles a day. he's in great shape. and yet, there was something odious about the whole weekend that was leading us to medicate ourselves in really bad ways.

i suspect that somewhere deep down, i know exactly why i was eating to the point of pain, but in my current state of consciousness, i'm uninterested in digging deeper. i feel flat lately... like i'm just... here. and yet i'm not fully here. what i do know, regardless of my current state of mental disinterest, is that i need to resolve the visit to seattle.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

the fat girl's guide to flying

i've been traveling a lot recently and as a woman of XXL proportions, airplane travel always make me a little nervous. fortunately, i have amazing girlfriends who know what the hell i'm talking about when i anxiously mention the dread of having to squeeze my voluptuous keister into an XL seat for three hours. one particular travel-savvy friend sent me the following advice, wrought from her own extensive traveling experiences:

The Fat Girls Guide to Flying

1) Airline seat sizes vary. Airplanes use a few different kinds of aircrafts. When you shop for flights, it will list the type of aircraft each flight uses. Check here to determine the width of the
seat on that particular aircraft: You want the 18" width; it will be much better vs. the 17" width. Whenever possible I pick my flight times based on this.

2) Get in a loyalty program and fly that airline
as much as possible. It is TOTALLY worth it. Get a credit card that gives you miles for that airline. This will let you get better seats (i.e. non middle!), board first, and upgrade to first with your miles.

3) Always aim for a window seat. It allows you to
get into the row first (usually), get situated, and lean away from the middle seat. Because of carts and other traffic coming down the aisle, the aisle seat doesn't leave you with anywhere to lean.

4) Seat belt lengths vary. I tend to fly United
where the seat belt is always roomy in coach, but strangely, not nearly as roomy in business class/first (even though the seat are.)

Here's how to handle a tight seat belt:
immediately recline your seat, slide your ass back, and buckle the seat belt. Then un-recline. In crappier seats you may have to reach back and grab the side of the seat and yank it forward as you depress the button to move the seat back into the upright position. Do the whole recline thing really quickly and no one will notice, they're too busy getting situated themselves. In really small/older planes (i.e. europe), the seat belts are much shorter. Do not go through the drama of asking for an extender. Just bring a jacket with you and put it on your lap. Place the unbuckled seatbelt under the jacket. Put your headphones on and zone out. No one will notice. Flight attendants just want to get the plane off the ground, they are not looking to see if your seat belt is buckled.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


this morning, my company treated its employees to a catered breakfast in honor of all the hard work we did last week. i queued up with other coworkers and patiently waited my turn to grab some eggs and bacon and fruit. i found myself across the buffet table from a temp who has been with the company for three or four months. the group around me was conversing about vegetarian preferences, the temp leading the banter.

"well what to do allow yourself to eat? all i see is carnivorous fare here," one of my coworkers said to the temp.
"well, i'll eat eggs, but definitely NO dairy... i'll eat fish and blah blah blah blah..." and she went on ad nauseum about her self imposed diet restrictions. when the temp got to the eggs, she took an abnormally small scoop and made some irritating remark about being starving.

"you know, i think scrambled eggs have milk in them," the guy next to her said. she paused, then very unceremoniously tilted her plate towards the egg pan and shook the offending fare back into the public domain. i think she started whimpering about never having anything to eat at "these" types of offerings...

it was at that point that i grabbed my juice and scurried away, trying to get as far away as possible from her incessant whining about food.
frankly, although i found the whole exchange to be like nails on a chalkboard (seriously... HOW MANY TIMES DO WE NEED TO HEAR THE WOES OF THE VEGETARIAN?? KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, YOU FOOD MILITANTS!! yeah, yeah, yeah... you're so much better than the rest of us meat eaters... but you don't hear the rest of us preaching about how our lactose intolerance or our gluten issues or our plain old dieting problems should be cause for you to take alert, too!!) i digress... the thing i found interesting is that this was not the first time that i happened to be graced with the presence of this babbling veggie crusader.

i came across her a few weeks prior at an all-staff meeting. she was at the catering table, decrying the baseness of the pastries and muffins for their general unhealthiness and sugar content to anyone in line who would listen. (as a little bit of background, this gal is relatively young - maybe mid to late 20's, very thin, and very much a stereotypical l.a. hipster. in an office that demands business formal, she comes to work looking like she's wearing the same duds she went out in last night... lindsay-lohan-style leggings under an off the shoulder, ratty t-shirt and cowboy boots. god love l.a.) this girl already sticks out like a sore thumb in the office. what's worse is that she offends everyone around her with her holier-than-thou loud judgement of food at the catered meals.

this really bothered me at first. i chalked it up to her just being a loud, bitchy, attention-needing, angstful youth who was unaccustomed to a professional office environment. but after listening to her blather on about her herbivorous tendencies this morning, i realized that ohmygod, she's probably just as freaky about food as me! both times i've run into her, she's been milling around catered tables full of "inadequate fare". i imagine that a person with a normal relationship with food (whatever that is) would peek at the offerings, know instantly if there is anything appropriate for their diet and simply walk away if they don't see something that fits the bill... not get in line and very loudly bitch about the free food. that the temp falls in with the rest of the line and starts calling attention to her own eating habits screams "i have a problem with food. and if i talk loud enough and with enough judgement about what you're about to eat, you won't notice my issue with food."

yes. i know this one well... i know it well because i have been in that same boat... it was high school and college when i was so painfully aware of being seen having anything to do with food in public... i thought that all eyes were on me and the food i was about to eat. (which is really a very narcissistic thing if you think of it.) how painfully wrapped up with my own fragile self esteem and poor body image did i have to be to think that everyone would be waiting, watching to see what i ate, how i ate it, the technique i used to eat? seriously. thank you, therapy, for helping me pull my head out of my ass on that one. (i'm quite sure that my head is still very much securely lodged up my rear when it comes to a great many other things, but i don't fear eating in public anymore.)

i wish i could say that my negative feelings towards the trash talking temp have dissipated now that i've committed my thoughts to paper (or rather, the digital ether), but i'm not that noble. what i can say is that i do have a little more compassion for her now. it's gotta be tough to be young and impressionable in this whack-a-doodle town - where drug problems are completely acceptable and eating at all, especially in public, is frowned upon... i'm grateful that the suffocating pressure to be thin out here has not consumed my very being... ok, maybe just a little.

or i could be completely wrong about the temp... perhaps i am totally off base and she has a perfectly healthy relationship with food... in that case, her irritation factor stems from her constant and insipid whining about food... even better!

dayyyyyum, this thing is dusty

thanks for all the comments and queries as to my whereabouts... i'm afraid my absence has been due to nothing glamorous or dramatic... just a lot of traveling, sewing and (finally) buying of the engagement ring.

oh how i've missed you, Blogger!