Tag Archives: professional storyteller

New Blog Post – “Just like riding a bike”

I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot, and what it means to be a blogger. I decided early on that this wasn’t going to be a place for recipes or before and after photos, I thought this would keep me accountable. I assumed that with an audience present, I would stay focused on fat loss because I wouldn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of failure (which as we know is what happens with most diets). But as it turns out, I don’t need this blog to remain accountable. This task hasn’t kept me honest or prevented me from eating donuts. I EAT donuts, but I’ve also lost over 60 pounds since I joined Weight Watchers last December. I’ve done the work, with plenty of difficult, frustrating, and down right bad weeks, but I’ve done the work. So if the blog isn’t about accountability, what is it for?

I do not intend to post reviews of consumer products or other weight loss trends/fads. I’m not a doctor and can’t provide actual health recommendations. I’m just a story teller who can occasionally craft a meaningful (possibly heartfelt) narrative. I can rant and rave and share my point of view. I can yell down a well. So the truth is this blog may only be self-gratifying, a glorified journal of sorts. But it has been an important part of my journey. I’ve written and shared things that I needed to say out loud. I don’t know the responsibility of the blogger and I know there are a bazillion weight loss blogs, possibly of greater substance, but I like it here. So on with the show.

I feel compelled to share a few fears that have come to the forefront of my thoughts recently. The first is that I am afraid to ride a bike. I know HOW to ride, I’m just afraid to ride again. I learned to ride a bike when I was 7 or 8. I remember my parents got me a blue BMX for Christmas and the training wheels came off that same day as I obsessively tried again and again to hold myself upright on the bike. I most certainly lost hours of my childhood to dirt bike adventures and earned my share of scraped knees and punishments for unauthorized ventures beyond my two block riding radius. But now I think I’m just too fat and I won’t have the core strength to maintain my balance. I’m afraid to fall. I’m afraid to try. So what do you do when riding a bike isn’t “just like riding a bike”? What if I fail?

Number two fear – and this one may actually just be ridiculous – running. I am afraid to run. Again, I feel to heavy. Like what if I crush my little leg bones because of all this weight? What if my lungs burst from the burn of exertion? Or what if my heart rate just gets to high and I collapse? My rational self knows these are petty fears. I won’t crush my legs, hell they’ve been carrying me around for a long while now and didn’t cry mercy 60lbs ago, I think they are in it for the long haul. And here’s a really neat trick, if my lungs or heart or ankle or head hurts too much, I can STOP. I can go back to walking, or catch my breath, or text my mom 911.

So I’m actively trying to alleviate this fear. I have started Couch to 5k, and I’m still much closer to the couch than running a 5k, but I’m jogging is spurts and I’m not dead yet. So about this bike riding, I’m trying to imagine the worst that could reasonably happen. Say I fall from the oh so steep height of my bike (and yes I do actually own a bike), that’s only a mere 5 feet 4 inches (my wee little height). I won’t even humor the thought of auto accidents because well that wouldn’t be #winning.

So like when I was 7, what if I just committed to the task until I mastered it and then the figurative training wheels could come off. I think back to starting this blog because I thought I would fail without it, but turned out I didn’t need it for that. And for every bad day or week I’ve had trying to lose weight, I haven’t given in to the fear that I couldn’t ultimately get it done. So I’m prob not gonna drag my bike down a flight of stairs and hop on tonight, but hey I might. But certainly, very soon. The beauty in the revelation of these fears is that I have a desire to conquer them.

Thanks for reading.

I borrowed this from the mode knit blog (http://modeknit.com/2011/09/)

I borrowed this from the mode knit blog (http://modeknit.com/2011/09/)

The Writing Diet

I can’t believe it has been three months since I have posted. That is absurd. I suppose that is what happens with some dieters, we lose our motivation, or life kicks in gear and focusing on the weight loss isn’t the number one priority. Well I am happy to report, that I am still going strong on my weight loss journey. Down a total of 53.8 pounds after 36 weeks on weight watchers. I am still writing down everything I eat. I am still cursing donuts, french fries, pizza, and ice cream (especially in the form of the oh so innocent milkshake). I’m still wearing two activity monitors all day everyday. But I’m not blogging as intended because honestly I thought I could lose the weight faster. I thought I would be immune to life hacks. I thought I was the rock star of weight loss. In the beginning I set all these arbitrary goals: lose x by this opening night, then x by summer, then another x by this friend’s wedding. And none of them happened.

When I couldn’t meet those little goals I had set for myself, the shame set in. Never mind that I have had 29 losses, because all 36 should have been losses. Never mind that my average weekly loss is 1.5lbs, because I should be miraculously losing 5lbs every week. I stopped blogging because I wanted to show off, and all I had to show was a real life up and down ordinary weight loss struggle-tale.

Struggle-tale, not fairy-tale. No I just ate less and exercised more and viola I am now super skinny and everyone adores me, but a this is the body I live in today and it’s kinda cool because it carried me from 298.2 to 244.4 and fits in a large t-shirt now and my thighs still kiss but I kinda think thighs are meant to kiss and hey there is some extra strap left over on this seat belt on the plane now and wait I think I actually feel full and who the heck knew kale tasted so good or this roasted red pepper humus dip type stuff that you couldn’t have paid me to taste just 38 weeks ago is like magic happening in my mouth kinda tale. An all this while living, working, parenting in three states and two time zones story. A writing, directing, teaching, loving, laughing, crying, starting new, saying good bye to old, losing and longing story. It is not about miracles, it is about possibles. And it is all mine to tell. Sorry to have kept you waiting. More sorry to have kept myself hiding.

So I am still working on a new body, just probably not by tomorrow. Not in time for your wedding or a cousin’s graduation. Not in time for our weekend get-away, or probably even when the next bikini season rolls around. But I’ll get there. In the time it takes.

I’ve started Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” again (many people know these pages are the key component to Cameron’s The Artist Way program for creative recovery, I am following her similar program called The Writing Diet), so I am writing everyday friends, and I plan to share here more often.

Thanks for reading.

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”

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

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.

The story of last Saturday night

Saturday night was the worst night of this “weight loss journey” so far. It’s had been 50 days of relative ease. Not easy, but I’m focused & determined so I brooked no compromise. Then Saturday night happened and I belly flopped right in to a land mind of triggers.

This one might be a buzz kill so I’ll try to keep it witty!  I also will disclose that I’m doing weight watchers which operates on a point system.

On Friday night I went out on the town with friends. We had a fabulous dinner and an evening of theatre. I planned for this and indulged just a tad but didn’t really go “off program” in a points/calories allowance sort of way. What I did do was wake up Saturday with the attitude that I was in the red. So even though according to the points, I started the day fresh with plenty still chillin in the weekly reserve, I back stepped into my attitude of lack which is what started this whole hoard food in the body problem umpteen years ago. So that was my first mistake.

Onward with my tale. I ate fine all day, even had my daily hot chocolate (something I imagine will be too point rich down the line but for now I can afford it). Then late evening rolled around and Shakespeare triggered me. Now Shakespeare has always been a force for good in my life. Soothing, like a baby’s pacifier or like the calm of rushing water to others. As I watched the MARVELLOUS PBS special Shakespeare Uncovered I, obviously, started to focus on my career momentum or lack (oooh there’s that word again) thereof. And so the self ambush began. And we all know what happens then…I wanted a hit. I wanted to stuff myself full. I wanted cheese melted on anything, a pizza, or grilled cheese, or cheesy baked potato. You get the idea. Feeling behind career wise, I also felt empty, inadequate, and frustrated cause there’s certainly nothing I can do about it at 8 on a Saturday night.

Here’s the thing though. I didn’t eat. I was done for the day, I wasn’t hungry. So I yelled at twitter, adopted a passive aggressive vague-book approach and got over myself. It was hard, but clear that I’d avoided dealing with my shit like fear and doubt and insecurity and boredom by shoveling food in. And I’d keep doing it til that pleasure sensor was triggered and the euphoria of the food high set in. I don’t wanna be that person. I don’t want to live in denial. I want Shakespeare to be my high, not pizza.

I want to confront what I’m feeling, give myself permission to have those feelings and then move on. I hope the next time is easier but even if it isn’t, I know it’s possible. That’s really the best part – the possibility of it all. Shakespeare said that first right…or something like it…

Thanks for reading.

Why is fat funny?

Several questions came up for me this week:

Why is movie theatre popcorn the most impossible thing to get an accurate calorie count for in the world? All the websites I am looking at give conflicting information.

How on Earth is a 1/4 cup of Alfredo sauce enough to adequately cover a cup of Fettuccine? These are the listed single serving sizes that I have clearly ignored for the entirety of my life.

How come the Tall at Starbucks looks like the kids Jr. Frosty cup at Wendy’s when in fact all standard commuter mugs hold the same 12ozs of fluid?

How come on WW the are no free proteins?

But the big question is why is fat funny. Now don’t get me wrong, I think Cedric the Entertainer is charming, witty, cute and hella hella funny. I have also been known to cut up a bit myself, but as a general rule how does this works.

I saw The Hobbit this week, and (no spoilers here) the fat dwarf was the butt of the jokes, the scape goat. Paul Blart, mall cop. Nell Carter. Drew Carey (who is out of work since losing weight). Melissa McCarthy, the ONLY actor in ALL of Hollywood to get more work by getting fatter. These talents and many more have become the staple side kids, the butt of jokes, the unrequited lovers, the blundering idiots and would be heroes.

Rebel Wilson…hilarious...case in point, she had to halt her weight loss efforts to film Pitch Perfect

But why are their follies funny. If they somehow fit the standard of beauty would we still laugh?

I don’t have an answer. It was merely an observation. But I am kinda over it. I’m over fat, or rail thin, or odd shapen noses, or differently abled bodies being the butt of jokes.