French Fries are the Devil’s work

Ok. I know I’m behind on posting. My bad. So I am crawling toward a 40lb weight loss total. I want it so bad. Intellectually. There is some emotional barrier however that has me dancing w/ old habits. I’m a social eater. While everyone else is boozing it up, I’m ordering wings & things. Today it was French fries (which could have only been invented by a sadist). Last week FroYo and home baked cookies. But here’s the thing, for 3 months I did fine. I said no, or ordered water, or perhaps a salad. So the issue isn’t my will power or even determination. It’s fear.

I’m afraid to have the thing I want most. In large part it’s because I don’t believe I’ll ever be thin. I never have been. Don’t even know if its possible. What if I really am a rare breed – the last big boned girl around? So, if I stop in the middle of the road I don’t have to face the disappointment of getting to the other side and not liking what’s (who’s) there. I know how to be fat. I know how to dress fat, shop fat, eat fat, make jokes fat, be single fat, be career driven fat. I know who I am fat, how to behave in social settings, what others expect of me, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, I know that being fat renders me invisible in the most ironic of ways. And when invisible the stakes are low.

So the more people say to me “wow 40lbs,” the more I stand in the road. The more they see me, the more I am afraid. Afraid that once my amour (read fat) is gone, I still won’t be good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or talented enough. I also won’t have my golden ticket (read excuse) to ride the this is why my life sucks bus. So I’ve been stalled in the middle of the road. The thing is, the road isn’t a safe place to hang out, and I don’t want to be on fat street anymore. So I’m crossing, but it’s some scary shit. I don’t know if I’ll find myself on skinny street or if I’ll barely get out of the medically morbidly obese woods, but I imagine it’d be a joy to sit in a chair with my legs crossed. I figure my friends will appreciate that we can just go to the bar not need to search for the last open kitchen on earth on one of our after hour adventures. And if the truth is that I’m not something or the other enough, then it’s time I got to work on that narrative.

Thanks for reading

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A primaveral blog post

The most unexpected thing happened…

After two weeks of unimpressive numbers, PMS, then the MS itself. I just sorta woke up and the funk was gone. Not only was the funk gone, but when I looked in the mirror I was in love with the person looking back at me. I was impressed by her tenacity. I thought her eyebrows had a nice arch. I found her giving and forgiving. I thought damn she has great hair and remarkably clear skin. I didn’t think she was flawless or perfect, but I knew her to be witty and passionate and with a capacity for love that even she underestimates.

It just happened that I woke up and had forgiven myself for the bad choices of yesterday. I wore a skirt without leggings or spanx for the first time in at least 5 years. I tried nobly to flirt with a boy or two. I ordered a malibu & pineapple juice at the bar and calmly tracked the points.

I just woke up and didn’t know how I got from where I was yesterday to this new place, but I’m not gonna ask to many questions. And maybe this euphoria is fleeting, but I haven’t felt this good about myself quite possibly ever, but certainly not as an adult.

I also have written 3 new pieces (I’m a poet/storyteller remember), and shared an older piece with people I barely know.

I’m the vortex.

And as we all know, “after winter must come spring”

Fall Back, Spring Forward

A few years ago, the mysterious powers that be decided that the Daylight Savings period of the year should be longer. This sun worshipping California native with a thing for mood enhancing vitamin D was thrilled. I don’t much follow the science of it, but I know once a year we fall back and once a year we spring forward.

How apropos that tomorrow we spring forward, when this past week I felt like I fell back. I fell back into a few old habits, I fell back into pizza, mozzarella sticks, hot fudge topping, bread, and Malibu & pineapple juice.

Here’s the thing that will prompt your “ain’t nobody got time for that reflex,” last week I lost 1.4 pounds. On the program I’m on (weight watchers) it’s recommended that we lose between .5-2 pounds a week, so I’m at the higher end. Great! Also WW, being an accountability program, not necessarily a food restricted diet allows me to spend my daily & weekly points pretty much however I choose (the program operates on a point system blah blah blah). I did not end the week in the red. I still had a handful of spare points. But it felt like a close call. I felt like I failed.

All week I felt like I was fighting against myself. Temptation felt ever present and more than once I fell. The weight loss is good…who am I kidding, it’s frickin GREAT! And yeah I did it in a week when I had froyo, booze, fried cheese, and my arch nemesis pizza. That would have made a past version of me so happy, “I can still eat the foods I love…” But I don’t wanna love those foods anymore, I don’t wanna play Russian roulette with the shit that got me to this size in the first place. I just felt like I was somehow beating the system. Like I was cheating and if I didn’t reign it in I would spiral out of control.

I know people say everything in moderation, but for some of us that isn’t true. Some of us have to give up certain things, say goodbye to a vice maybe even a friend. So on my excel spreadsheet last week was a success, but emotionally I fell. It was scary, I was scared, standing in the quick sand of “if I order that second slice…”

I’m tired of feeling out of control or at the mercy of food. So that was my one fall back for the year (positive thinking people). Here’s to springing forward this week.

Thanks for reading

I haven’t had a donut in 77 days…

So I am 77 days OP. 77 days clean. Sober. There isn’t really a list of things for me to say I haven’t had in 77 days. When you overeat it doesn’t work quite the same as saying I haven’t had a drink. Here is what I can tell you. Since joining weight watchers on December 14, 2012, I haven’t eaten over my point allowance in any week. Not once. I’ve had some tough days in which I didn’t make the best choices. I’m still learning that part. Like 1oz of cheez-its is hardly worth it and really just a trigger for me. I haven’t had much ice cream, but there was that one day. I still crave sweets and potato chips and french fries and a whole lot of bad shit. I mostly don’t eat it. Mostly.

So what I can say is that I haven’t had a donut in 77 days. Not one. Some days I wonder if I’ll ever eat a donut again. I wish losing weight was as easy as just giving things up. Maybe you’re lenting something right now. 40 days without whatever, and once you get there, it really wasn’t so bad right? Well I am perpetually lenting…but not food. I haven’t had a donut in 77 days, but that isn’t what is going to get me to my weight goal or keep me there. What I have to give up is the fear, doubt, negative self talk, feelings of inadequacies. That is what is really at stake here. Donut schmonut, a fried piece of dough covered in a sugar glaze has no power over me. Some days it feels like it, like chocolate is the new God, but really it’s just chocolate.

So I can’t say I haven’t had one bad thought about myself in 77 days, or felt like a failure, or unattractive or unloveable. I have and worse. But in those 77 days I haven’t turned to food in excess to solve a problem hunger didn’t cause. What do the say, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master something…77 days ain’t even close. But I’m in training…training for my life.

Thanks for reading.

Stay Here

I don’t believe in coincidence. I think everything happens for a reason. Now I often don’t know or understand the reason, but I know there is one. That there is some lesson for me within every circumstance. So to my curent circumstances:

Losing weight is bringing up all sorts of issues. And it isn’t the losing weight – yet – as much as actually trying to deal with the things that have kept me fat (because I still have 123 lbs to go, so for all intents and purposes, I’m still fat – for kids following along at home, I started at 298 and I am trying to get to 145, the last time I was 145 I was 10 years old). I am learning to let go of anger. This is a BIG one. It is hard. I want to be right. ALL THE TIME. I want other people to admit I’m right ALL THE TIME. This is because, I was never the pretty girl, but always the smart one. Always praised for my intelligence, so it’s my point of pride, and if I am wrong then what do I have? You can’t be dumb AND ugly. I must say though, that I am pretty cute. Perhaps one of those “oh you have such a pretty face” type of cutes, but cute none-the-less. The truth is, I am wrong a lot. A lot. Clearly. I didn’t get fat exercising sound judgement. More than anything I have been wrong about myself.

I thought I was low maintenance, didn’t care about my appearance, that I didn’t like wearing dresses, that I was unattractive, that I wasn’t good enough, that I was just meant to be fat…the list really can go on. So as I set out on this journey for the umpteenth time, I am committed to making it the last time. This means I gotta dig a little deeper…so

So I’ve been feeling very emotionally raw lately. Trying to understand, why and how my self-esteem got so low, and how I can have it back without the need for external validation. I am starting to understand the tremendous need for human contact that I have ignored and completely lied to myself about. See when I’m home I can hug my daughter a bazillion times a day. We cuddle and snuggle and it’s great because I am getting affection all the time. Unsolicited. Unconditional. And in large amounts. But right now, I am on my own away from home. I am craving touch. I realize how my body issues (and they are MINE) keep me from human contact. And I’m talking a hug here…don’t even get me started on good ole fashioned S…E…X…

So here I am working hard to have the body I want but also wanting to feel good about the body I have, because 123lbs is a loooong way aways and I don’t want to feel untouchable for one day more. It’s such a conundrum. So on to everything happening for a reason and being in the exact right place at the exact right time in one’s life – here I am working as part of a team developing a new musical. A musical about people dealing with addictions and abnormalities and trying to survive their worse nightmares. And it is all hitting a little to close to home. I feel like a character in this play. One of The Unfortunates:

“I’ve been unfolding, hoping and pleading.

Baring my soul but barely believing

I could be whole”

It’s been eye opening. Therapeutic. And confusing as shit. There is joy and heartache. And I am confronting my own issues on the daily. The Universe knows me so well, because despite all my fears and doubts, the one thing I am sure of is that like the protagonist of our play “I’m done dyin … Lord says he’s got a new skin for me. Gonna fill it up with brand new wine.”

Thanks for reading

The I’m feelin some kinda way blog post…

On falling in love while fat…

So I’m a serial crusher. Like I’m always swooning over some gorgeous human being who probably got caught in my web because he/she/it/they kindly smiled in my direction. The math there is simple, if you’re nice to me I’ll probably fall in love with you.

NBD right? Well here’s the problem – the first problem – why do I think so low of myself that I’m gawking over someone because of their show of basic human kindness. A smile is nice, a friendly greeting, etc. but am I so unaccustomed to decency that when I encountered, I dive head first into attraction? I must be. That is just awful. That my expectation is that people will shun me, walk past without a greeting, or silently judge me because I take up more than my share of the sidewalk. And poor fellas that are just being nice guys can’t just be nice to me w/o me going gaga. Well I hope to change this.

Here’s how I am going to do that: I will not put my head down as I take up more than half of the sidewalk, because, well damn it, go around. I side step for your toy size puppies and untethered children. We’ll just have to negotiate the walk way together. I will also smile more, even if it means I’ll look like I have 7 chins. I am working daily on my jaw line exercises, and guess what? I have to do so many reps & sets of smiling. Mine as well throw it in someone’s direction.

Here is problem number two. Though I get all school girl crushy, I never have any expectation that my crush will reciprocate because I don’t didn’t think I was attractive. Now don’t get me wrong, I think I’m cool af. I would totally hang out with me. But I’m pretty sure I’d keep me in the friend zone cause, well, I’m not attracted to fat people.

I think I’ve been ashamed of my body for so long that I just assume no one finds me attractive because, here is the obvious, I don’t. So what am I to do? Wicked crush after wicked crush that only reaffirm my negative self talk. Oy vey.

And worse yet, I don’t know how to be thin. What if after I lose 113lbs (well less the 25 I’ve already loss, but medically I’ll still need to lose 40 more fuck it, back on topic), I resent people who find me attractive who wouldn’t look my way when I was fat?

What if the guiltiest of those is me?

So you see why the songs in my last blog aren’t helping.

Well here is the proposed solution…get over myself and get out the damn way. I’m cute! And yes I’m fat (today). But I am a whole host of other things too. I would hope that any deterrent my fat presents, my charm and wit, and loyalty, and passion, and bad taste in movies and music and trashy novels can overcome.

And so say I don’t find love until I’ve lost a bunch of weight…it is what it is…and I’ll take it.

Thanks for reading

I’ve lost 25 lbs, but that’s not what this blog post is about

So what is it about? Music and self esteem. So I’m real big into pop music, as in popular, as in R&B, hip-hop, bubble gum, boy band, American Idol winners type stuff etc etc.

Now my teenage sister and tween daughter have recently introduced me to One Direction, and thanks to a YouTube cover by my favorite actor on SMASH (Leslie Odom Jr. who plays Sam), I’ve now discovered Bruno Mars. So as I’m getting familiar with my new guys, and keeping my new, Christmas present to myself, Ne-Yo album on heavy iPod rotation I make a little discovery.

Someone thinks writing songs about low self esteem women is a good idea. Now I don’t wanna hate on my boys, but with lyrics that literally go “let me love you until you learn to love yourself,” “you don’t know you’re beautiful and that’s what makes you beautiful,” and “when I compliment her she won’t believe me…it’s so, sad to think that she don’t see what I see.” How can I not raise my brows in question. Yes, OF COURSE, I’ve rocked (popped?) out to these songs, doing red light aerobics like the best of them (you know dancing in the car like you’re on Solid Gold, and no one is watching). But here’s the truth, a woman with no or low self esteem is easy prey.

People treat us the way we allow them too. We set the standard for how we want to talked to, respected, held, loved. I don’t want someone else to decide that. I want to set the example. I want to demand excellence for myself same as I wish for my friends or demand of my students and colleagues. Why would I leave that decision to any other living being? Like Cleopatra in that Shakespeare play says, “I’ll set a bourn how far to be belov’d.” And while its nice to get a compliment, be told I’m pretty or amazing or super super cool and talented, especially on a day when I’m feeling like even the fat jeans are too snug, it’s more important to me that I be respected. That I be treated well, with kindness and compassion.

I know from experience, this can only happen if I treat myself that way first. So to all my low self esteemees, I wish I could “love you til you learn to love yourself,” but it just ain’t gonna happen. Like Sweet Brown say, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” It’s mildly complicated, I know, I’m in the struggle. But seriously, make the choice to love yourself, and each day give yourself a little bit more. Confidence is sexy. A woman on a mission is sexy. I offer you encouragement and positive vibes. Better yet I’ll try and lead by example.

Thanks for reading.