Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
i was doing a quick internet search for some cute holiday jammies appropriate to wear in front of The Cute's family (um, NO). i never found any jammies for myself, but i did find this video. some of you have seen this on my facebook page already, but i think everyone should see this video. consider it my public service for the holiday season.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
one saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, i went bra-shopping at my favorite little lingerie shop. at any given time in my life, i really only have two bras in the daily rotation. like every girl, i have my fair share of impulse bra purchases - lace ones, satin ones, beribboned ones, bejeweled ones, but seriously, who other than Beyonce wears those contraptions on a regular basis?
i was in dire need of a couple new standbys. after several months of daily wear, the elastic in my old reliables seemed to have stretched out, leaving me with shoulder straps that slipped with every move i made, underboob oozing out from beneath the underwire, and a less-than-attractive puckered cup. i was annoyed. i don't want to know i'm wearing i bra. i don't want to have to work to keep a bra on. i just want it to sit there and do it's job. like a good butler. a boob butler.
your breasts, milady.
i ask the salewomen (there are the sweetest, most helpful saleswomen at this little shop!) to get me a few bras to try on in my size.
she brings a bevy of bras in 36 C. i try them on.
strange. underboob still making an appearance, strap still slipping, cup still puckering.
"i think you are a 34 C."
she leaves to go rifle through her 34 C drawer right outside the dressing room.
"have you lost weight?"
"maybe a little."
"are you gonna lose more weight?"
"i hope not."
"have you been sick?"
"oh. (pause) well, at least your cup-size hasn't gone down!"
she seemed to be confused by my response to her first question:
"are you gonna lose more weight?"
"i hope not."
and then i found her follow-up question curious:
"have you been sick?"
sick? as if the only reason i might not want to lose more weight is because i'd been sick, and to lose more weight would mean i'd continue to be sick or get sick again?
who knows what her thought process was. i wasn't offended. there was no "i can't believe you think i need to lose more weight" kinda thing. i just found it fascinating... and a little sad... and a little happy for me.
"i hope not."
i hope not to lose more weight.
to not want to lose more weight. does that make me sick? nooooo. that makes me well.
imagine! i've reached a point in my life where i have no desire to lose weight. i think i could even (and probably will) gain a little, some, maybe a lot of weight at some point in the next 50 years, and live a damn fine, miraculous life. really, truly those two things (weight, life) are not dependent upon one another unless i make them so. it's up to me.
i'm proud of where i am, proud of where i was that day in the lingerie shop. a few years ago, a slight comment like that would have, no joke, led to tears.
if i could do it over?
"i hope not. i love my body the way that it is."
that really woulda thrown her for a loop.
Monday, November 17, 2008
i once had an older woman friend say to me (a woman on Weight Watchers), "when i was pregnant, i just ate whatever i wanted when i was hungry and i stopped when i was full, and i didn't really gain much weight. i wish i could eat that way now."
"why can't you?" i asked her.
"well... i mean. i just can't."
that broke my heart.
we actually can.
and it's probably one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies, our minds, and our children. maybe we grew up in a diet culture, and got our ability to intuitively feed ourselves ripped out of our tiny, little hands like a forbidden cupcake. maybe we grew up believing that love is conditional with one of the conditions being that we be thin and beautiful. that doesn't mean our children have to. we must educate them. we must empower them by letting them make food choices. most importantly, we must love them unconditionally and be a good role model. we can't just talk the talk; we have to walk the walk. feed ourselves. enjoy ourselves.
they are watching.
even if we don't have children and never will.
they are still watching.
nieces, nephews, friends' children, students.
you don't think those 13-year old girls trying on Valentine's Dance dresses in the next room heard you bemoan the size and texture of thighs? you're wrong.
children of the world aside, what about you? what about me?
i have decided:
i will not wait until i am pregnant to eat without feeling guilty.
i will not wait until i am pregnant to not punish myself with excessive exercise.
i will not wait until i am pregnant to not feel like i have to hold my stomach in all the time.
i will not wait until i am pregnant before i start letting others take care of me.
i will not wait until i am pregnant to take care of myself.
i will not wait until i am pregnant to love myself.
i might not be birthing a child in nine months, but there is one inside me all the same.
she is watching.
if you've been pregnant, did you experience freedom from body image angst during those nine months? did that carryover at all into your life once you gave birth?
if you haven't been pregnant, are you scared of the changes your body will go through or can you not wait?
Monday, November 10, 2008
"I am having to come to terms with the fact that at age 41, I found myself unraveling. Or, rather, I unraveled."
here's wishing her well. thank god she has a friend who could speak honestly with her, the cojones to admit herself, and the sense of hope that will see her through what is a bumpy journey through darkness to light. to get well is the brave choice.
i remember singing this song at the top of my lungs driving down perimeter road, valdosta, georgia, summer 1998.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
r, these are the ladies and gentlemen who read my blog.
i'd been talking about wanting to invite folks to serve as contributors on my blog from time to time (navel-gazing gets old, wouldn't you agree?), and r volunteered.
"perfect!" i thought. "she's a helluva good writer AND was a screwy eater for years!"
r and i have been friends since her freshman year and my junior year in college. we were roommates for one year during which i think i can go so far as to say that r subsisted on Baked Lays, Diet Coke, and midnight runs, while i subsisted on Hamburger Helper (with extra cheese), regular Coke, and as an avid devotee of the Couch PotaTaoism Anti-Movement. r has struggled with her fair share of ED and body image issues, and she, after years of work and ups and downs, has finally come to a place of peace about it all. doesn't mean she still doesn't get pissed however when she sees unhealthy diet advice in the media.
1.) DON'T APOLOGIZE FOR SELF-PRESERVATION.I just stumbled on this blog by Margarita Bertsos called "Margarita Shapes Up," though most of the posts seem pretty fixated on weight loss only. It's for Glamour magazine, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at the weight-obsession.
I told Jillian that some of my habits--flushing rice down the toilet so I won't eat it, bringing my own high-fiber bread to brunch--stirred some controversy on the blog. "Why?" she asked. "Why should we apologize for the practices that help us manage the symptoms while we deal with the real reasons we eat? I pour candle wax on my food at restaurants," Jillian admitted. "Not wanting to 'waste food' is a poor excuse for ending up far worse off later on, dealing with all the health problems that come with obesity."
This particular blog post centered on her meeting Jillian Michaels, one of the trainers from the reality show, "The Biggest Loser." If you don't know the show, it follows two teams of overweight "contestants" as they, as far as I can tell, go to extreme measures to lose enormous amounts of weight in an effort to be healthier and, of course, win a bunch of money. I confess I am both fascinated and repelled by the show- it's like what I imagine a "fat camp" to be like, yet I can't help but beam along with them each week as they (humiliatingly) step on this ginormous scale and find out they've lost 10 pounds in a week. Right. Healthy.
Anyway, this first tip shocked me. This is the kind of behavior, and justification of such, I used not only when I was in the thick of my "recovery" from anorexia, but also numerous times in my life when my disordered eating patterns were slithering back into place. Actually, I remember reading an article about some celebrity who said she dumped the contents of the salt shaker (servers LOVE her) on a dessert after a couple of bites so she wouldn't be tempted to eat more, and a lightbulb went off in my head- "why have I never thought of that?!?!" Of course, the magazine praised her discipline and ingenuity, much as Ms. Michaels does to Ms. Bertsos.
I love the seemingly sound reasoning here: "manage the symptoms while dealing with the real reasons we eat." While Ms. Michaels might be self-evolved enough to be dealing with the reasons she eats, the truth is most of us are not interested in why we binge, or starve, or purge. That's too hard, too painful, too intensive. No, we want someone to tell us how to get and stay skinny, and flushing food or pouring candle wax on our food in order to stop eating before we are truly satiated sounds like a pretty thorough way to do so. Much more final than say, throwing it in the garbage where it can be retrieved because YOU WEREN'T FINISHED, but felt guilty/ashamed/embarrassed for eating whatever it was. Yes, I have.
This is preservation, all right. It's maintaining the same sort of state of mind that focuses on what it looks like when you eat all the fries, order your own damn dessert, choose a salad when you really want the fish and chips. Cause if you say, "screw it, I'm eating what I really want this meal," you just might find yourself not worrying about exactly when to tip that candle over your plate. Might just find yourself not obsessing about your food AT ALL. That's a state worth preserving.
what do you think of jillian's advice?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
that which does not kill us makes us stronger; and that which does not kill us will eventually make us laugh.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
haven't had a chance to read this yet, but a co-worker pointed it out to me, and i immediately wanted to share it with you. a multimedia package on The New York Times website called Patient Voices: Eating Disorders featuring "eight men, women and children (who) tell of their struggles with anorexia, bulimia and other forms of eating disorders." there's also a discussion board if you wanna get in on the conversation.
click here to check it out.
i'd be interested to hear your thoughts. i'll let you know mine once i listen and read.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
this week, october 13-17 is Fat Talk Free Week. that's right! NO FAT TALK. can you do it?
NO "oh my god, i'm so fat."
NO "oh my god, she's so fat."
NO "oh my god, what size are you?"
NO "oh my god, i'm doing The Zone/Atkins/Master Cleanse this week."
NO "oh my god, i haven't worked out this week. I feel HUGE."
you get the picture.
in junior high, if we'd tried this, my group of friends would have sat in silence for a full week. what else to discuss?
it's the sorority Tri-Delta that is responsible for introducing FTFW as well as for co-creating a wonderful body image intervention program called Reflections. i'm going to resist making a sorority girl joke because these women have done wonderful thing.
(what's a sorority girl's mating call? oh my god, i am SO DRUNK!)
turns out i couldn't resist. sorry.
check out this video, sign the pledge to abstain from Fat Talk and then forward the video to your friends. you can also sign up to receive a Daily Challenge every day this week. they also have this bold T-shirt for sale. i think i need it.
here's Monday's challenge:
Your Daily Challenge for October 13: The next time someone gives you a compliment, rather than objecting ("No, I'm so fat!"), practice taking a deep breath and saying, "Thank you."i still struggle with that one. just ask The Cute. luckily, he gives me plenty of opportunities to practice.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
hi, gorgeous people!!!
i'll be back shortly. i went to michigan to visit my 'rents and my brother and his family all last week only to return to work yesterday to find that my hard drive has been almost completely wiped out in my absence.
what fucking FUN!!!
my point is, i am busy trying to rebuild my work life (what did we do before computers?), but i shall return once things get back to wee bit normal. forgive moi.
here's a silly question to ponder... if you were to die, and they were going to cast your most "you" body part in bronze to memorialize you, what would it be?
me? my nose. unmistakably me. or my calves. terrifyingly muscular and sinewy. genetics.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
read it, please.
fascinating and informative reading whether you have kids or not. it certainly made me think about how i was raised re' food. i was always invited into the kitchen to help cook - this i credit with making me a pretty adventurous omnivore - but i was certainly pressured to eat or not to eat certain foods because they were either "good" or "bad" - and don't think i don't see the connection between those "bad" foods and the foods i later restricted or binged upon.
the article also made me think about how i might raise my own children - i know it's not a popular parenting view, but i don't plan on forbidding any food in my house. nothing. nada. that's the one part of the article i disagree with.
Other studies show that children whose food is highly restricted at home are far more likely to binge when they have access to forbidden foods.aren't those two statements somewhat contradictory? if you don't allow certain foods into your home, they're restricted, and when that child encounters them outside of your home, they're likely to inhale them.
The lesson for parents? Don’t bring foods that you feel the need to restrict into the house. Instead, buy healthful snacks and give children free access to the food cabinets.
case in point: my friend A. we were friends since the 5th grade. her dad was the manager of a small grocery store in our town, so her kitchen cabinets were always full of a wide variety of "good" and "bad" foods including Little Debbie cakes, sugary cereals and storebought cookies. i never once saw or heard her mother tell her she couldn't have this or that food. the cabinets and the fridge were open to her at any time. she could have anything. she could eat pepperoni and Cheez-Whiz between two Chips-Ahoy for breakfast if she wanted to. i know. how awful! how dare her mother not watch over her diet like a hawk? well, wanna know what A's favorite food was? salad. wanna know what granola-and-fruit-juice-fed-me gorged on when i went over there to visit? i'm sure i don't have to tell you (although i'm sure i reaked of Oatmeal Cream Pies for days afterwards).
why restrict any food (and i'm not talking about children with diabetes or a similar issue)? just like adults, i truly believe that if you give a child a wide variety of foods to choose from, broccoli to brownies, and let them listen to their body and their hunger, they will make reasonable choices. don't believe me? watch a toddler with an ice cream cone. they don't have to finish it. they get full. they stop without being forced to. yes, some of us might have a greater propensity to develop eating problems, but i do believe, for the most part, that we really do learn disordered eating (this isn't my theory. smarter folks than i have studied it, written about it, practiced it. check out Preventing Childhood Eating Problems. i actually used its simple tenets in my own recovery).
anyway, i ramble. i also say all of this not having had children yet, so i know there might be a litany of "i told you sos" coming my way when i have my own little bean and all she wants to eat are those victuals that fall under the BEIGE food group. i can see myself now, paying her in Polly Pockets accessories just to PLEASE eat something, anything GREEN.
i was thrilled to see this as the 5th food mistake. thrilled, because people need to see this in print. i'm hoping that those who don't believe me when i say it, will believe The New York Times. they're like, way totally smarter than me:
Dieting in front of your children
Kids are tuned into their parents’ eating preferences and are far more likely to try foods if they see their mother or father eating them. A Rutgers study of parent and child food preferences found that preschoolers tended to like or reject the same fruits and vegetables their parents liked or didn’t like. And other research has shown girls are more likely to be picky eaters if their mothers don’t like vegetables.
Given this powerful effect, parents who are trying to lose weight should be aware of how their dieting habits can influence a child’s perceptions about food and healthful eating. In one study of 5-year-old girls, one child noted that dieting involved drinking chocolate milkshakes — her mother was using Slim-Fast drinks. Another child said dieting meant “you fix food but you don’t eat it.”
A 2005 report in the journal Health Psychology found that mothers who were preoccupied with their weight and eating were more likely to restrict foods for their daughters or encourage them to lose weight. Daughters of dieters were also more likely to try diets as well. The problem is, restrictive diets don’t work for most people and often lead to binge eating and weight gain. By exposing young children to erratic dieting habits, parents may be putting them at risk for eating disorders or a lifetime of chronic dieting. “Most mothers don’t think their kids are soaking up this information, but they are,” Dr. Birch said. “They’re teaching it to their daughters even though it doesn’t work for them.
do you remember your parents' dieting? do you think it affected your own attitude towards food and dieting? how? i'm interested to hear your thoughts.
Monday, September 08, 2008
when did "you're practically disappearing" become a compliment?
dis·ap·pear /ˌdɪsəˈpɪər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[dis-uh-peer]i overheard it said to someone on the elevator this afternoon, and it struck me as so sad that it could ever be considered a compliment, and yet it was definitely meant to be in this case, and the recipient certainly ruffled a bit with pride.
1. to cease to be seen; vanish from sight.
2. to cease to exist or be known; pass away; end gradually: One by one the symptoms disappeared.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
we have to do that sometimes, yes?
it helps that i'm staying in the fabulous apartment of my dear friend J, who is away on safari for two weeks with his partner T. poor dears. i'm taking full advantage of the fully-equipped open kitchen, central air-conditioning and cable television. they didn't want to leave the apartment empty for that long so really, i'm doing them a favor. how will they ever repay me?
Friday, August 29, 2008
have you seen this shit? just the name pisses me off. made by Bliss Spa, i saw it yesterday when i was in Sephora, doing what every other woman was doing in there: preparing for a Thursday night out using free expensive makeup.
i literally gasped when i saw this on the shelves.
the blurb on the back of the FatGirlSleep is what really got my goat:
Get a full night's 'booty' sleep with this supercharged sister to our famed FatGirlSlim. Formulated with our encapsulated slenderiZZZe complex that releases dimple diminishers and soothing lavender for up to 6 hours, this ultra-rich cream helps make the most of your body's overnight restorative process. Good night, sleep 'tight' and don't let the bed 'blubs' bite."don't let the bed 'blubs' bite!!!" are you kidding?!?!?
and this comment from Susan, a FatGirlSleep user;
The emollient texture combined with the relaxing lavender scent sends me off to a dreamy sleep all the while working on my-well you know what."my-well you know what!"
your what? your vagina? oh no, you mean your CELLULITE because THAT is certainly a very, very dirty word right up there with STRETCH MARKS and LOVE HANDLES and BELLY BULGE.
i'm so happy i don't know Susan. i might punch her.
i don't have a problem with the cream per se. at certain times in my life, when i'm feeling less than toned and lovely, i might very well give this sort of cream a shot. i really don't care if it's all about the placebo effect. sometimes the placebo effect is worth the money, but please, don't call me FAT and don't talk to me like i'm an asshole.
bliss. blissfully ridiculous.
Monday, August 25, 2008
in the meantime, read this post about 10 Ways to Infuse Your Work with Your Personality by Keri Smith if you're an artist... or just a human bean interested in living artistically, and aren't we all when it comes down to it? you can't fool me. we all still jones for that Crayola box of 64.
tip #8 i found incredibly useful since i am now in the process of sending out size ate postcards to local universities. it can often feel like such miserable, money-grubbing work. sure, making money and building a business are PARTS of it, but it's not It. i have something incredibly valuable and worthy to share when it comes to my show and my voice!
8. Don't promote to target your audience. By all means send things out into the world, but don't think in terms of "promoting to get work". Send stuff out because -you're proud of it, -you want to share something with the world, -it's fun to get mail, -to have good karma, -you want to spread your germs, -you like licking stamps. Try sending a postcard of something you made for fun, (i.e. directions on how to make a finger puppet). When thinking of subject matter for promotions look to your current life. If you deal with topics that are important to you a piece will have much more life to it.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
i read this last night, and it struck me, so i thought i'd share it with you:
Opportunity is nowhere. Opportunity is now here.
shift your perspective. sit in a different place in the company lunchroom. go commando when you usually wear granny panties. take a different route to work. try the fiddleferns on the menu. opportunities might present themselves through the teeny tiny cracks you couldn't see from where you've been sitting. sometimes it just takes a subtle movement. i mean, look what happens to the phrase above with one tiny tap on the spacebar.
suddenly the night sky opens up and stars tumble in.
i've been trying to do this lately. make tiny changes to shift my perspective eeeeever so slightly. i hate it. i resent it. i hate change. change is terrifying. change is excruciating. i hate change, but i also know that change is necessary. i think i also read somewhere, and i may have even posted about it on this blog already, but again... and i paraphrase, if you're not changing, you're dead. i hate change, but i hate the idea of being dead more. change is LIFE. best to get comfortable with it. or maybe it's best to get comfortable with being uncomfortable with change.
Monday, August 11, 2008
taking a bit of a summer breather, but shall return, but while i'm gone, a new site i've found that i'm loving: http://mistymawn.typepad.com/
i'm even considering going to a workshop she's co-presenting in Oaxaca in december. i'm asking the universe to help me find, create, receive the money needed to go. it would be the one and only true vacation i've ever taken (that didn't involve family and/or a wedding), and the workshop involves creating a personal artistic journal. i've been offered the opportunity to publish size ate the play, but i've resisted, feeling deep down that the size ate book that gets published needs to be something that is more of an experience that just a book. it will be very visual and engaging. it will contain personal and collaborative art work and activities to be completed by the reader. my show is not a typical one-woman show. it bounces around and is a veritable theatrical collage. the accompanying book that WILL EVENTUALLY GET PUBLISHED (positive thinking!) should be the same. anywho, my point in bringing this up is that i'm hoping this workshop would be the start of a size ate book and workbook to accompany the show. fingers crossed.
one quick thought: spent sunday afternoon with a dear friend of mine who just turned 29. folks were joking with her,
"oh, one more year, and it's all over!"
"what!?" i said with not a little pissiness. "the thirties are SO much better than the 20s. i like myself physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and intellectually now so much more than i did when i was in my 20s. you couldn't PAY me to go back."
and frankly, it only keeps getting better. by 80, i'll be about ready to bloom and bungee jump.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
here's how the little girl who is me feels today:
Thursday, July 31, 2008
i went to see the new documentary by Darryl Roberts last night called America the Beautiful. it's a fascinating, terrifying, entertaining and educational look into America's obsession with beauty and the price we pay for that (if that seems like a broad description well, the scope of the movie is broad). what's even more fascinating is that the documentary is written, directed and produced by A GUY and funded by three other GUYS. i love that! he explains a little more about why he was drawn to making this movie on his blog.
anyway... GO SEE IT! it's opening in NYC tomorrow August 1 at Cinema Village, and will open in a number of other cities very soon. click here for listings.
see it because it's educational and entertaining (and if you can't feel comfy eating a 12 pound bucket of buttered popcorn while watching THIS film, when can you?), but also see it because the more people who go out NOW to see it, the more distribution the film will get, and then even more folks will get see it, and this film needs to be seen.
thank you, darryl. i bet your mama's proud.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
looking at this picture makes me a wee sad, and it has nothing to do with the acid-washed denim, brick wall bangs or the Sun-In bleached hair - although all of that is bloody awful too.
this picture was taken about a year after my first flirtation with anorexia. by this time, i was seemingly well-adjusted, at a healthy weight and into my first year of high school. yet if cameras could freeze thoughts as well as images, and you could peel back the photo and peer into my mind, you'd see a mind graffiti'd with a litany of lamentations. SO UGLY. SO FAT. SO DUMB. SO UNPOPULAR. and yet, there i was... so pretty, so healthy, so smart, so popular, but completely unable to see it. blind to it. just about how a freshmen girl in high school is supposed to feel, i know, and i don't know that you can raise a daughter who won't ever experience a lick of self-hatred or self-doubt, but i just wish i could step into this picture, sidle up to 14-year old me, and whisper into her ear:
it gets better, beautiful girl, i promise.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
fifteen minutes into the train ride, he leans over to the woman sitting next to him and says:
hold my seat, would you? i gotta go pee.
she looks at him and sort of gives him a combination shake and nod of her head. not wanting to piss him off, i guess, by saying no, and not wanting to commit to holding this guy's seat on a crowded train.
now, he declares:
"just hold my seat for a few minutes while i go pee."
again, she says nothing. just looks at him through her fluttering eyelashes, playing dumb.
i'm sorry, i'm a woodnymph from the Forest of Everlasting, i don't speak human. where do the fairies live in this city?
at this point, he gets up, and i think i'm being helpful by saying to this guy, who must be an out-of-towner:
"hey, there aren't bathrooms on the subway trains."
and now i know from the stench, that this guy is drunk.
"i need you guys to hold my seat while i go pee in the space between the trains."
and i giggle to myself, because it was just last night that my friend L from sweet, green, magnolia-sprinkled valdosta, georgia said to me via Facebook chat, "your life seems so glamorous in NYC!"
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
i get off at the 53rd + fifth avenue stop. i'm riding up a really loooooong escalator from the subway to the street exit, when some ambitious young lad takes the stairs.*
(i used to be The One who took the stairs, and i don't mean a few stairs, the it-will-actually-take-me-less-time-to-take-the-stairs-so-why-not stairs, but i mean the 150 steps stairs that NO ONE TAKES EVER unless the escalator is dead. i got a lot of who-the-hell and why-the-hell looks on a 90 degree days when i'd trudge up the stairs in my little black work shoes and my little black pencil skirt, eyes fixed, lips pursed, breath controlled. i loved the looks.
BECAUSE I'M BETTER THAN YOU, THAT'S WHY, my thoughts were screaming.
like many eating disorderlies, i fancied myself immortal, special, incapable of feeling pain or discomfort. needless, therefore... better than all you humans).
now, i ride the escalator. it feels GREAT to step aside and let those who want to walk up the escalator do so.
please! go right ahead.
anyway, this lad is leaping to the top of the stairwell, and we're all watching in a combination of awe and annoyance.
just as guy is getting to the top of the escalator, this homeless man - skin the color of milk chocolate, head surrounded by a corona of crazy gray hair and beard - steps onto the down escalator, takes one contemplative look at the guy dashing up the stairs, turns to the rest of us and shouts, like a king addressing his subjects:
REPEAT AFTER ME: EXERCISE? BAAAAD. MASSAGE? GOOOOOOOD. EXERCISE? BAD. MASSAGE? GOOOOOOD. NOW, GO GET ONE.
*in the NYC subway, if there's an escalator, there's usually a set of stairs right next to it. you see plenty of folks dashing down the stairs, but rarely up. some of those suckers are LONG.
Friday, July 18, 2008
this morning, as i'm getting dressed in front of the bathroom mirror, the sunlight streaming through the window hits my body in such a way so that the fine, white striations on my hips are more pronounced.
i stop. i stare. i gently touch them, delicate little white ribbons weaving across my hips and onto my inner thighs.
"oh, my poor little stretch marks."
i'm sure there will come a day in the not too distant future when i am not so well-rested nor so well-balanced, and i will see these marks as gross and unattractive. i will try to rid my body of them via copious slatherings of cocoa butter and vigorous exfoliations, but for today, i like them. welcome them. they are evidence of a life lived imperfectly, and a body and soul that has adapted.
a reaction of gratitude and compassion instead of disgust. this is a good day indeed.
Monday, July 14, 2008
these are my cousins's kids. the two boys have their t-shirts wrapped around their heads "ninja-style," i was told (i thought it was more evocative of a chador, but i'm doubting that that was the intent).
see the super-scary ninja in the center? the one w/ the red hood? grandma char has a rather impressive collection of clip-on earrings. turns out super-scary ninjas like to wear them up their nose. part of their "shock and awe" approach to attack, i presume.
i took a bunch of pictures of them, they were all scrambling to see them, and eager for me to take more.
i told Red, "yeah, this is cool when you're nine, but in five years, you so won't want your friends seeing this picture."
which is totally why i'm saving it on my hard drive.
Friday, July 11, 2008
i'm headed off to baltimore this weekend (via the fancy, schmancy greyhound bus) to visit my aunt char, uncle rick and cousins. my cousin B is leaving in the next few weeks to teach high school for a year in the boondocks of alaska (are there boondocks in alaska?). i wanted to visit before he left.
aunt char is my dad's sister. my dad was a professional football player. my aunt char married a professional football player. my mom and dad had two boys and one baby girl. my aunt char and uncle rick had two boys and one baby girl. i'm the baby and B is the middle kid, so i'm not sure why it worked out the way it did, but B and i are the more unconventional ones of our respective families, so i guess i feel a special kinship with him. we have both stared down some personal demons pretty publicly, and we both never felt quite right about hanging around our hometowns or settling down like our sibs (we are, what you might call, "late bloomers"). i took off for concrete jungle of nyc and he took off for the sugary beaches of southern california. i guess i've sort of "settled" a bit in nyc, but he's off again to the wilderness of alaska, and he's super-pumped about it.
anyway, he's a one cool guy with a strong sense of self-awareness and humility, and i will miss our late night conversations in the kitchen about politics and education.
i called my aunt this morning to discuss when i might arrive.
"if i take the 2:30 bus i'll get there at 6pm. is that okay? i can come later if you want me to so you guys don't have to drive in rush hour traffic to come get me."
"i don't care. 6 is fine."
"and we have food."
Friday, July 04, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
the guy who was doing the photoshopping got so distracted by imogen's brand-spankin' new tatas, he couldn't finish the job. i'm sure he finished, ifyaknowhatimean, but he didn't finish this.
an im chat with my bro from this afternoon. referencing this post, of course.
4:42 PMbro: are you eating a "big" salad today
something about this chat is endearing to me. something about my brother's ability to joke about it means he gets It... most of the time anyway.
kinda like when he told me a couple of years ago, after i'd started the blog and after i'd done the show in NYC:
"ya know, i don't call you Margox because i think you're big like an ox or anything."
(i did know that.)
sweet, right? in the only way that brothers - who know who you are, where you've come from and how old you were when you stopped wetting the bed - sweet in the way only brothers know how to be... just before they lock you in the closet.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
it's friday. it's sunny. i'm in a good mood. i am friend to Everyman. sprinkling my sparkly cheer on any who come into my company. awkward silence in the elevator? no sirree! i won't have it! i am friendly! i make everyone comfortable! i will not stare at my shoes! i will not stare at the floor numbers as they change, feigning fascination with oh my! the pretty lights!
14, 13, 12, 11, 10.
"hi," i say.
"hi," he says.
i rest in a self-satisfied pause.
then he ruins it all. he looks at my lunch and says:
"wow. that's a BIG salad."
and i swear he says it as if he's never seen the likes of such a monstrous salad. so incredulous he is, i might as well have an entire double chocolate fudge cake heaving in my arms.
and frankly, that is my goddamn business and would be perfectly acceptable and fine too! BECAUSE IT'S MY FOOD, MY BODY AND MY CHOICE, and if MY BODY needs an entire chocolate cake, it needs an entire chocolate cake, and if MY BODY needs a 4,000 pound salad it needs a 4,000 pound salad sans commentary from YOU, mr. weeny man. i know you. you, who ate a smooth peanut butter (b/c the crunchy kind hurts your wittle, tiny, baby-sensitive gums) and grape jelly sandwich on white bread while sitting at your computer, crumbs dropping between the keys. you are the person whose keyboard we are all afraid to touch.
well! now i'm just being judgmental.
FOOD COMMENTATOR. i hate food commentators.
wow, are you eating ALL OF THAT?
wow, is that ALL YOU'RE EATING?
i try to be understanding. he works in the Technology department of my company. he's pale and wan and awkward. maybe he's uncomfortable in this small, confined space, alone with a living, breathing being that and has boobs and smells like flowers and SweetTarts, but seriously, is this all he can think of to say?
so many other options.
nothing. absolutely nothing is sooo much better.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Today, I will stop struggling so hard. I will let go of my belief that life and recovery have to be hard. I will replace it with a belief that I can walk this journey in ease and peace. And sometimes, it can actually be fun.
from The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie.
you can actually get the daily thoughts for a day at this website. i have the book by my bed. actually, i think it's under my bed. it's way easier to go to the website than to retrieve the book. i risk losing an arm to rabid dust bunnies.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
in an attempt to find some inspiration for a cute though not saccharine sweet baby shower corsage, i stopped by my neighborhood party store. i want to make something that's pretty, but something with a little wit, but something that doesn't involve baby socks or pacifiers or wet ones.
yes, i am making a baby shower corsage. i actually, seriously, no-joke googled "baby shower corsage that will not make you gag," in hopes that maybe there was some woman out there who was faced with a similar dilemma, solved it wittily yet prettily, and then blogged about it.
so i went into the party store, and i didn't find much inspiration, but i did find this cake topper. it's not the best pic in the world (a better one here), but it's a figurine of a pretty darn slim pregnant woman (excepting her protruding belly) who has broken a scale because she's SO FREAKING HUGE.
i'm throwing a party to celebrate the birth of your beautiful miracle baby, you earth mother, you. i've baked you a big beautiful cake (your favorite flavor and icing), and now, i'm just gonna put this little figurine on top to remind you just HOW MUCH WEIGHT YOU'VE GAINED. now, go on, eat as much you want! it's okay! you're eating for TWO!
it bugs. and for a moment i thought maybe i was being oversensitive, but i did a quick google search looking for a better pic, and i found this. ah ha! commiseration is a fine thing indeed. i love the internetikins. i want to pinch its cheeks.
Monday, June 16, 2008
as i fumble with my phone, The Cute:
"babe, i believe they're referring to Jamaican beef patties, not Patty who lives down the street."
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
two things to be thankful for:
the heat wave has broken. we are now lollygagging about in temperatures in the lower 80s.
on the way to the subway tonight, e and i discuss:
"it's going to be the early-80s tomorrow."
"really? does this mean i'll wake up with feathered bangs and wearing Jordache jeans?"
if you haven't heard her, seen her, you should. i just saw her live tonight at the Highline Ballroom here in NYC. not only does she have an amazing voice that channels the soul goddesses of the 60s, she's only about 6-years old. (not true. she's just turned 20 on may 5. OMG! my grandma betty's birthday!). she's still a wee uncomfortable onstage - she sort of reminds me of me when i was a freshmen theater major in monologue class:
but what do i do with these things called HANDS? i swear i've never noticed them before! get them OFF!
but you just don't care. she's so damned charming, what with her bouncy, British accent and her little peasant top (with a Spanx underneath, she told us) and her fake eyelashes and her "mum" in the audience. her singing voice is similar to that of Amy Winehouse, but she's still very much her own artist and woman.
and did you notice? she's round, and curvy, and downright ample. i like seeing that. a round, curvy, beautiful woman selling out two nights at a popular NYC music venue. now... if they'd only show her entire body (not just her face) in her music videos. see?
grow some 'nads, music industry.
Monday, June 09, 2008
i'm astonished, really. how quickly it comes back. you think you've conquered it. shoved it down into the innards, and yet.
doo do doo do, doo do doo do, doo do doo do...
it's like the goddamn Twilight Zone.
everyone's being an asshole because their buttcheeks are chafing and their pores are clogging in this miserable heat, but i'm somehow managing to take it personally.
is it because i'm ugly? is it because i'm fat? is it because of that zit on my left cheek?
seriously? um. no. suffering from delusions of grandeur, my dahlin'? everyone here is preoccupied with their misery - just like you - so shove some ice cubes into your C-cup and SNAP OUT OF IT!
nyc is having a bit of a heat wave. temps hit 100 today, and this past weekend was pretty awful too. on sunday, after The Cute (poor dear) drenched himself in sweat fixing the ice cube maker, we sat down at the kitchen table and stared at one another over a batch of homemade Bloody Marys. communication limited to vigorous eye movements and motionless-speaking worthy of a ventriloquist. movement permitted only to 1. visit the air-conditioned bedroom or 2. shower... again.
and NO TOUCHING.
i don't do well in heat, or rather, i haven't done well in the heat in the past. i've gotten much better, but it has always brought up so much body angst for me. hot and sticky weather means to me 1. hot, swollen body and 2. less clothing.
FAT-FEELING BODY!!! LESS CLOTHING!!! a torturous combination for someone trying to get comfortable with her body.
but then, i think, what would the challenge be in 365 days of big sweaters and courduroys? nada much.
over the past couple of years, i've relaxed a bit. gotten more comfy in my skin, gotten more comfy showing more skin. it's nice to move through the world with less body shame, and i consider the wearing of a certain summer staple one of the many bonuses of being a girl.
WE GET TO WEAR DRESSES!!! NA NA NI BOO BOO!!!
it is completely culturally-acceptable, daresay expected, for us womenfolk to wear light, flouncy (read: cool) dresses when the temperatures soar. i'm not suggesting you dress to please anyone other than yourself, but these days, i choose to weather heat waves donning strappy sundresses and flouncy tunics rather than my summer uniform of yore: heavy cotton XL t-shirts and jeans.
i swear their are boobs somewhere in this sea of jersey knit. hold on a sec, i'll find one for ya.
my body is far from perfect, and i obviously still struggle with some body anxiety when it comes to summer attire. so what makes it different now? what makes it easier now?
i think it has something to do with the fact that these days, my own physical well-being is mucho more important-o to my emotional well-being than what other people think of me... and my arms... and my ass... and that zit on my left cheek. sure, it might still feel like it matters sometimes, but a whole helluva lot less. these days, it's more about how i feel in the world, not about how i think they feel about my being in it.
actually, it's The Cute who's pointed out the Sundress Legacy to me on a number of occasions. me, on a hot summer's day, slipping into a light, airy confection of a summer dress, and he struggling into yet another pair of PANTS: those sartorial contraptions that cover both legs in material from hip to heel.
you girls are lucky.
yes, yes we are. not totally fair, i'll grant you, but then neither was that not being able to vote for the first 100+ years of the republic. i'll consider this a fair trade, thanks.
i have to go shopping now.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
have you seen these? i saw an ad for these on the subway the other day. gut feeling?
JESUS H. CHRIST. LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE. MY FLIP FLOPS HAVE TO WORK ME OUT???!!!
can't wait for a tampon that will do the same.
i'm gonna be quiet for a while. redesigning the website, writing new content for the website, designing postcards for a mailing to area colleges to drum up (fingers crossed!) some more shows in the fall. i'm busy.
or am i?
oh, i dunno.
i'm feeling a little creatively challenged these days. doubting myself, my abilities. my reasons for doing this show and blog have changed so significantly over the past 3 years, i think it's smart for me to take a step back and really evaluate what it is i want this show and blog to do... for you guys, the readers, as well as for me.
i SWEAR i'm not disappearing. i just think now is the time.
(begs the question: isn't NOW always the time? wish i could always remember that.)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
such a lovely note over a mighty girl. fucking j-lo and all those women in their pre-pregnancy clothes within a month.
and i'll be back soon. filling the well, people, filling the well.
Monday, May 12, 2008
yesterday was mother's day. yes, my mother's dead. yes, that sucks, but it was hardly "a thing" for me this year. just wasn't. i did have a think or two as i was making my round of calls to all 200 of the surrogate mothers i have out there about how very much it sucks to have a dead mother, but on the bright side, there is one thing in the world that i cannot forget to do! call my mother on mother's day. i am exempt.
then my friend ebetta sent me a link to this article in The New York Times and i about wanted to throw myself onto the office floor and weep for my moooommmmmmeeeeeeeeee.
i didn't, but i wanted to. mothers are supposed to be here as you leap over life's hurdles to hug you, support you, criticize you, antagonize you. i know that when i get married, i'll be surrounded by a whole bevy of surrogate mother hens alternately praising and criticizing every choice i make, but it won't be the same as if it were her.
and then of course there's this blog and that whole show i wrote, and i started thinking about how my mom affected how i think about my body and how i eat. something i haven't really thought that much about before, or i guess i have, but when i have thought about it, i've thought,
oh, we were a very well-fed family. mom never restricted my food. if i wanted seconds of dessert, i got 'em. (i do recall having to eat my salad however. iceberg lettuce, slices of cucumber, orange-in-a-bad-way tomatoes and Kraft Creamy Cucumber dressing, thankyeverymuch!). she never told me i was too chubby or too thin or too anything. i was always "muscular" (which, i have to say, never felt like much of a compliment when i couldn't fit into those damned slim-fitting Jordache jeans my best friend Stacey wore with such ease).
my mother was very intent, it seems, on NOT giving me a complex.
and yet. here i am. writing this blog. doing my show.
to quote my eloquent father, "bitch, bitch, bitch."
the other day, i met with three women who work for a non-profit organization that deals with eating disorders. i was presenting my show to them in hopes of partnering with them in some way someday in the future. one of the women asked if i had any family members with an eating disorder.
"uh, no. (insert response above sans parentheticals). i mean, not that i know of."
she went on to say that sometimes eating disorders are not so readily apparent.
"you know, the 'i've been eating all day while i've cooked, so i'm not going to eat anything' sort of thing."
ah yes. that. i've done that. did my mom do that? i can't recall. perhaps i lost her too young to notice that sort of thing.
i do recall, at age three, my parents putting me in my first royal blue, string bikini and then telling me to hold my stomach in.
"hold your stomach in and pinch a penny between your cheeks."
and then, on another day, i remember walking into my parents bedroom, stomach sucked in so that you could plainly see the keyboard of my ribs. i gasped, proudly:
"look, mom and dad. i'm sucking in, and i can still breathe."
they laughed as one laughs at 3-year olds who are trying to adopt an adult behavior. dysfunctional or no. isn't that cute?
and then i recall my mom always runningrunningrunning. and then the series of crunches she'd do after the runningrunningrunning. i always assumed the runningrunningrunning was for fitness, but now, looking back, it's hard for me to think that there wasn't an additional, um, cosmetic reason for her long distance hobby. no one ever said as much, but it's hard for me not to think so now; knowing what i know now about my family's tendency to equate one's physical appearance with one's moral fortitude, knowing how our dining room table heaved with gigantic portions of food meant to satisfy pro-football player-sized appetites, and knowing that my mom's identity was more than a little wrapped up in maintaining her Homecoming Queen standard of beauty... even after three kids. knowing all of this, it's hard for me to think something else wasn't going on... too.
i remember thinking what a hottie my mom was, and wanting her to dress the part. my mom was a big sunbather (i am not, and you'd better not be either, young lady!), but she refused to wear a bikini. she did have one though. a hot pink one, that i always, always, always begged her to wear when we'd visit my grandparents down in Naples, FL. she wouldn't.
she hated her belly. she told me so.
i spent years hating my belly. because she told me so?
i mean, is that a coincidence? nah. of course not.
now don't get your panties in a wad, i'm not dissing my dead mother. although, yes, it did sort of feel WRONG as i typed those last few senteces. am i BLAMING MY DEAD MOTHER for all of my problems?
someone take away her motherless daughter badge, she deserves no sympathy from us!
ya know, when someone's dead, they sort of assume a deified status in the world of the living, so it's mighty hard to say anything remotely negative about them for fear that it will sound like you're disrespecting them. i think that's just dumb. turning a blind eye out of respect for the dead does us living folks NO GOOD. those dead people? they're DEAD. they don't care. i'm not disrespecting my mom. i'm commiserating with her. as a matter of fact, i think i'm honoring her by learning from her life - the good, the bad, and the ugly. i don't know much about my mom, but i know that she'd want me to. i know that much.
and i know that she'd want my little girl to love her belly, and me too for that matter. i'm sure there's some perspective that comes with dying. i highly doubt, as my mom slipped to the other side, that she thought to herself: i really wish i'd done more crunches.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
my point is: if it's not something, it's something else. cover your bases. love every bit of yourself any which way.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
i'm not sure what this says about me, but i really, really, really want this Disney Couture (seriously) necklace. there is a hefty dose of tack that keeps poking its bleach blond noggin through my ever-peeling veneer of class. i can't kill it. i've tried. glitter is my drug of choice.
blame my parents. they had white shag carpeting in their bedroom.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
i should have bragged on performing size ate at the university of illinois at urbana-champaign before now, but i did post these links over on Facebook. i should realize not everyone is a Facebooker. some of you sweet people have lives... lives not spent in front of a computer screen.
so, here are some wonderful pics that student Joshua Costes took during the show. aren't they incredible? there are so many i like. the one above, and then there's this one:
and this one:
and then just some really cool details of the body forms:
and here is an awesome website broadcast journalism major Angelica Duria put together as a project for her class. i can't bring myself to listen to the audio interviews... i bumble when people ask me to talk about my show.
perform in front of hundreds of people? sure! speak intelligently about its message to one person? uh... love your body, and to hell with those who don't?
i'll be back soon-ish. have been suffering from a little something called post-vacation depression.
i had an amazing time at the beach just... being with an amazing group of people [and one amazing person in particular (insert flutter of eyelashes and heart here].
most valuable insight while on vacation? i really don't want to be busy all of the time (like i feel i am). i want to DO NOTHING more often. i want to BE BORED more often. i want to delight in BEING BORED. (contrary to what my mother said, being bored does NOT make one a boring person)
i want to spend more time with a book in my hands, staring listlessly into space.
i want to write more love letters in the sand that then swish! get washed away by a wave.
i want to nap more often.
i want to have coffee on the dock with the fairies (they drink their coffee out of tiny seashells, you know) on a regular basis.
i want to stare at the moon while The Cute fiddles with the twin moles at the nape of my neck... more often.
i want to observe more often. i want to DO less often.
of course, like all things, this means striking a happy balance between doing nothing and being productive (one makes the other mucho more delicioso), but i really do think that's found relatively easily... by being choosier. fancier folks call it prioritizing.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
yesterday was one of the first absolutely stunningly beautiful spring days we've had this year. i mean STUNNING. i was positively bowled over by the sunlight, the daffodils cocking their little bell-shaped heads, the tulips with their mouths gaping wide as if they're actually eating sunlight. a delicious day. if i could eat it, i'd bet it would taste like fresh sweet peas... or a stalk of asparagus spritzed with lemon...
i'm guessing it was the contrast between the bright, sunny beauty of the outside and my dark, crowded apartment that inspired it, but i wasn't in my apartment for more than 10 minutes before i started maniacally purging my place of all the unused THINGS - pulling books off shelves, clothing out of closets and beauty products out of cupboards - tossing them all into garbage bags and boxes. the plan was to take them to the salvation army, but then i decided pish on that! it's time to have a stoop sale! make a little cashola, ya know.
as i was going through the books, i was sort of surprised by how many diet books i found. i thought i'd tossed all of those suckers from my shelves ages ago, but obviously not. i found quite a few. interesting... i thought i'd really truly let go of the diet mindset, but i obviously hadn't. they were, i guess, sort of like my safety blanket. if this whole intuitive eating gambit doesn't work, i must've thought, i always have Bob Greene and Those French Ladies Who Never Get Fat to snap be back to reality.
they have been banished from The Shelves. only self-loving, mind-expanding books there, please.
so, anyway... i was planning to sell those books on my stoop, but then Emily over at It Has to Start Somewhere left a comment on my blogpost about the South Beach Diet's "Festive Yogurt" this morning. i went to check out Emily's blog. her most recent post serendipitously said this:
I purged last weekend, but not in a bad way. I was doing some spring cleaning, and reorganizing my bookshelves to accommodate a bunch of new reading material I've purchased over the past six months. And while not alarming in number, I did notice that I have quite a few books on diets. And by diets, I mean fairly restrictive eating and exercise plans that are nearly impossible to maintain over a lifetime. I was struck with the realization that this may be one of those 'garbage in, garbage out' kind of things. Those books peer out from their shelves at anyone who uses my living room. Perhaps it is not the healthiest thing to have all of my past fails at diet attempts staring me in the eye when I'm trying to relax.brilliant, right?! off to the recycling bin these books go to be "recycled into something that may actually benefit my fellow citizens" right-o. like toilet paper.
I contemplated boxing up the books and donating them to the library. But then it struck me that perhaps this may just perpetuate the problem. Maybe I'm just adding proverbial fuel to the proverbial fire by passing along material that is essentially weight loss propaganda. So, instead I took my box of books to my local recycling center. I was thrilled to see that my books could be recycled into something that may actually benefit my fellow citizens.
i won't be posting for the next week. off to the beach! and yes, i'm feeling some body anxiety about the whole bikini thing. even though i've lost some weight in the past few months, my abdomen hasn't seen sunlight (or the gym) in about 9 months. but, i'm breathing, and bringing along a one-piece "safety suit" that might not be as sexy, but makes me feel just as pretty, and allows me to focus on feeling the sunlight and the wind on my face, and not on figuring out the most effective method for reducing jellyrolls.