Friday, March 28, 2008

I am too beautiful.

I came across this post tonight.

I just write and talk about sex. But every woman on the Internet gets called slutty and ugly and fat (to put it lightly) no matter what; all we have to be is female. In dinner conversation, my friend Lori reminded me of the Oscar Wilde quote, "Give a man a mask, and he'll tell you the truth." I restated it for the Internet, replying, "Give a man a mask, and he'll slit your throat." The application here is, "Give a man (or a woman) an anonymous account, and he'll eviscerate your self-esteem."

The problem is, with so many women I talk to, the trolling is effective. The number of times I've talked down a crying girlfriend after she's been trolled in her comments about being fat, ugly, skanky, slutty or stupid is higher than I can count (no matter what she writes about). Trolls watch too much mainstream porn and TV, and believe stereotypes are real; they slap us with it and then we believe it, too. We compare ourselves to overly thin models, actresses, and porn stars, and it messes with our self-image and our ability to express ourselves sexually, and especially to enjoy sex.


If you're interested in more, click on the link.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Well, how about that?

After getting done with my earlier post this evening, I found this website.

http://www.adipositivity.com/


Their stated missions is thus:

The Adipositivity Project aims to promote size acceptance, not by listing the merits of big people, or detailing examples of excellence (these things are easily seen all around us), but rather, through a visual display of fat physicality. The sort that's normally unseen.

The hope is to widen definitions of physical beauty. Literally.

The photographs here are close details of the fat female form, without the inclusion of faces. One reason for this is to coax observers into imagining they're looking at the fat women in their own lives, ideally then accepting them as having aesthetic appeal which, for better or worse, often translates into more complete forms of acceptance.

The women you see in these images are educators, executives, mothers, musicians, professionals, performers, artists, activists, clerks, and writers. They are perhaps even the women you've clucked at on the subway, rolled your eyes at in the market, or joked about with your friends.

This is what they look like with their clothes off.

Some are showing you their bodies proudly. Others timidly. And some quite reluctantly. But they all share a determination in altering commonly accepted notions of a narrow and specific beauty ideal.

Bookmark adipositivity.com and check back often, as new photographs are added regularly(ish). And please help spread the message. The Adipositivity Project: Changing attitudes about the aesthetic validity of big women, one fat fanny at a time.



Well, how about that. A positive site with photos of fat women. Hooray!

I must admit I couldn't help but giggle at the last sentence in their mission statement though. In America, fanny is slang for the buttocks. In Australia, fanny is slang for vulva. I still have to do a double take when reading that word on American sites. Although to be fair, there are glimpses of fannies of both varieties in some of the pictures. :)

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Feminism and Fat Acceptance.

Awhile ago I tried looking for positive images of fat women online. I wanted to see photos of strong healthy women who carry more fat on them than is usually considered to be "healthy". Not only was I looking for strong and healthy women, but I was looking for sexy women as well. Not the "plus"-sized models with their shapes similar to other models--flatter stomachs and gentle rounded curves--but average everyday women. Ones with lumps and bumps, no airbrushing.

I found something disturbing.

Many websites I discovered were run by men. And these women were objectified just as much as their skinnier counterparts. So-and-So was sexy, but didn't have the correct waist to hip ratio to be perfection. Great butt, but hips not wide enough. Breasts not big enough. Big beautiful rolls, but still somehow wrong.

And in several fat acceptance websites there was a similar message. Unless you're already completely willing to accept yourself as fat and and perfect as you are, then they didn't want you. In many there were very valid reasons for not wanting to hear it as it could drag them back into their own bad habits. The very reason I left my Intuitive Eating group. Most of them were recovering bulimics and recovering anorexics. I know my being there was not helping them at all. Our issues were similar, but we had different ways of expressing them. I couldn't help them and they couldn't help me. So I left. But, I digress. In a lot of the Fat Acceptance places I found there was no room for those still working through issues. Still struggling with their need to balance fat acceptance with a very real desire to lose some weight. No allowance for wanting to lose weight even if it was only for your own physical comfort. They'd been through it all and were sick of hearing about it, so none of that discussion to be found here thank you very much! To them, talking about wanting to lose weight was not fat acceptance, so "fuck you very much" they say to any daring to want to lose weight.

Perhaps I just found bad websites? I couldn't help feeling though that just like a lot of women nowadays who think there is only One True Way to be a feminist, or One True Way to be a mother, or One True Way to be a dieter, instead of supporting one another, they were tearing each other down. It's like that book When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies says, women are so busy tearing themselves and each other down because they don't believe they have the right to take up equal space to men.

All of this looking for fat acceptance and feminism got me depressed. And then it got me angry. So busy tearing into each other instead of really addressing the issue of equality. Too busy picking at their husbands or other women for doing it wrong instead of working to make it right. Good god, what would happen if we put all of that effort into fixing the world instead of trying to fix our waistlines?

And then my anger shifted. Despite all the strides we've made since the bra-burning days of yore, we still haven't made enough progress. Yes, we have the pill, but women still have to BEAR the children. Aldous Huxley thought up IVF in the early 1930s and in the 1970s we finally had realworld applications for it. Yet we still don't have artificial wombs.

And then it hit me. There's another subtler way in which the sexual revolution is still lagging behind the times. And I don't know if this is the difference between men and women emotionally, or if it's still a cultural thing where women are raised to be nurturing and men are raised to be the nurtured.

How many of you that are in relationships, or have been in relationships, have offered blowjobs or handjobs just for the sake of it because you thought your partner might be interested in them? Or because you were in the mood to give them one. And then the sexplay had stopped once they'd orgasmed?

I'm betting it's a fair few of you.

And how many of you have done those kinds of things when NOT in the mood for sex, just to keep them happy.

Again, I'm betting a fair few of you.

Let me ask you this. How often is the shoe on the other foot? In my own marriage...twice. TWICE has he thought to offer me something sexual, with no strings attached. There have been a few times when I've had to ASK, but only twice has he offered. When I broached this with him the other night, he admitted that he just doesn't think to ask. He's doing better than every other guy I've been with. He's at least asked without prompting or reciprocation. And now that we're both aware of it we can work towards fixing this inequality.

Other friends I've known in the past and current friends have all intimated the same thing. The woman gives and the man takes. Always giving and giving to everyone but ourselves. Always raised to nurture and be selfless. Always raised to be second class citizens.

It's the 21st century people, and we still don't have equality. We as women in general, let alone fat women who are looked upon as even less than that. This is another of the things that I've been so angry about lately, and one of the big reasons I've been binging so badly. I really don't know how to cope with my realisation of just how unequal our society still is. Racism, bigotry, fatism, all the other horrible ways in which people are denigrated every day. Why do we hate so much? Why do we put other people down? I know I'm guilty of it, doesn't mean I have to like it when I do it though.

Finally I came to the realisation that worrying about the world's ills was another way I was avoiding my own issues. Yes, a lot of my issues stem from the cultural biases, but I can only change my own little corner of the world. I can fix my own relationships with both the men and the women in my life. How can I help others accept themselves or me as I truly am, if I can't first accept myself?

This is the thought process that led to me wanting to take those photos of myself both naked and clothed. This is where the driving need comes from to accept myself as I am right here and right now. Looking in fat acceptance websites or for sexy fat women online won't help me to accept myself. This is something I need to find within myself. That's why it's called SELF Acceptance. I don't have any answers for any of the bigger issues, but I can look for the answer to the questions of, "Who I am?" and "What am I worth?"

But lemme ask you this, Who are you and what are you worth? Or maybe instead of me asking you that, you could ask yourselves the questions. Who am I? What am I worth?

I can't really answer those yet, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of finding out!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Progress. . .of sorts.

Last time, positive affirmations helped me get have the courage to face what I had to. So I'm trying it again. But, this time I went one step farther.



Imagine if you will that the image is our bathroom mirror. The purple rectangles represent the ruled index cards that are stuck on the mirror with sticky tape. On those cards are affirmations. One affirmation per card. They're each written in pretty coloured texta (marker pen.) So each time I go into the bathroom, they're there. And I say those affirmations.


They helped me to binge less today. In fact, it really was less of a binge and more of eating for my tastebuds. I went with intuitive eating, but ate more at each sitting than I actually wanted. Definitely improvement on yesterday. I am full, but my stomach isn't distended and aching.

Today, I also took photos of the bathroom mirror, trying to get a good shot of the affirmations. So excited to take the photos was I, that I did it straight after my shower. I figured it didn't matter that I had no clothes on, I could always blur myself. I forgot about the mirrored medicine cabinet that sits on the side wall, directly next to the actual mirror. The main part of me was easy to blur, but the bits reflected in and amongst the affirmation cards was not. (Just glad I noticed before I posted them!) So, that's why I went with the drawn image. I couldn't be bothered redoing the shots after all that effort.

BUT. The good thing to come out of those photos is that I was seeing myself from angles I wasn't used to being seen from. Funnily enough, I was able to appreciate my feminine form. I could see myself. See my body, the way it moves in different positions. I could see what my husband finds attractive about my body.

Now, for another step forward, that I thought of as I was writing this post.

I'm thinking that I can't get natural shots of myself this week, so I'm gonna ask Alaskaboy to take some of me on the weekend. Photos of me doing everyday things, but not all the pics will be of me clothed, some will be naked. Actually SEEING my body, rather than the mirror-distorted and stilted front on view that is pretty much all I usually see.

After seeing Keely's body the other day in the act of running along the beach, and seeing myself today, I realised that this is something I need to do to connect to my body as it actually is. I need to do this to be able to appreciate the beauty of my body as it is right here and now. I don't want studio or professionally shot photos, because they are artificial. I want to see myself in the ways my body normally behaves. I want to see what my husband sees when he tells me how beautiful I am. Therefore no cheesy 'smile for the birdy' pics. Just me, in my natural surroundings.

I actually find myself looking forward to this exercise. The idea has made me feel light on the inside. It's like I'm going beyond all the hurtful words that I've heard. I'm heading towards a place where I'm learning what I think of myself. I'm flinging off the words of others and learning to see myself through my own eyes. This feels both scary and exhilarating all at the same time!

And if Alaskaboy can't take the photos I'm wanting to see, well then there's always the remote control that I can push at random moments during the day to take pictures on my own. I'm determined to start from the outside in. I'm ready to know who I really am. I have the strongest feeling that learning who I am will help me deal with who I was, and in the process free me to be all I want to be.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I accept!

“Good stomach,” says LSED, then breaks into song.

Listen, Stomach, what a load of bull!
There's no way you could be full.
Come on eat another little bite.
You need to finish everything in sight!


Yup. The bitch is singing. That means she's in a good mood. High Self Esteem Guru is supposed to be off gathering the cavalry, but I think she's in hiding for a bit.

And I feel like shit. (oooh, I rhymed!)

I went through my wardrobe again today. I've put clothes into the Goodwill bag that have made it through every other winnowing I've done in the past. And it hurts. It hurts so bad. My belly is fully distended. I'm thirsty as all hell, but the half glass of water I've got sitting on my desk in front of me won't FIT in my stomach.

The pain in my stomach helps detract from the pain of giving away some of those clothes. Clothes that I used to fit into. Clothes that I've never worn.
My awfully tight abdomen helps avoid the tightness in my jaw from how angry I am that I'm giving up on ever wearing those clothes. That I didn't get rid of all of those clothes and am clinging to the hope that I'll fit into the remainder one day.
The food that I've shoved down my throat the last few days is helping keep my emotions at bay for a little longer. And yet weeping storms managed to creep up past the food yesterday anyway. Today I didn't cry. I couldn't. If I did I probably would have puked, my stomach is that full.

I'm really struggling with these latest revelations of mine. I thought last year that it was hard when dealing with issues that ex-friends and ex-boyfriends had given me. It's nothing compared to what I'm dealing with now. Those ex-friends and ex-boyfriends were easy to deal with. They're out of my life. I can let them go and move on. It's harder to do that when you're dealing with issues that involve people you still love, and that love you in return.

Dealing with so much pain and anger caused by family members that have hurt you with only the best of intentions. That never meant to hurt you, and if they ever knew how much you were hurting would be devastated that they'd done that to you. (Or deny that they could have done or said those things.) They were only doing the best they could with how they were raised and the tools they had.

And so, I'm eating down my feelings. I feel guilty for feeling hurt and angry. Logically I know that they didn't mean the hurt inflicted, but the hurt still occurred. I'm conflicted. I'm having trouble seperating the acts from those that did or said those things. I'm trying to deal with the feelings without equating them to the people involved, but it's the fact that those people were involved that makes the feelings of betrayal hurt so much more. And so, I go around in circles again.

And I eat.

Sometimes IE sucks. Dieting was easy. I could blame any negativity on the food, or the fact I was failing at the diet, or that I'd put on weight. This sucks. Having to deal with what's actually wrong HURTS.

And so, I eat.

I know there'll come a point where I'm ready to deal with the emotions and these issues, but I'm eating in the mean time. I thought when I'd dealt with all that stuff last year that I was Queen Bee at this Intuitive Eating stuff. I thought IE was a breeze. Deal with big bad scary emotions, cry, have a temper tantrum or six and I'll be excellent for the rest of my life.

Guess what? I have more than one issue that needs resolving. I've been through the easy stuff, relatively speaking. Now I'm really digging down into the muck and the shit. And I can hear LSED in her best Valley girl accent saying, “Don't go there, Girlfriend.” So I don't.

I haven't had a binge like this in years. I'd forgotten how much my stomach hurts when I fill it this full. This is a serious binge. And yet. According to the Overcoming Overeating and Intuitive Eating I must still accept that this is the best coping method I have at this given time. This is hard. I feel like I'm repeating lessons I've already learned, and that I should know better. That I should be able to face this and feel it, release it, then move on.

But that's dieting thinking isn't it? Little Miss Perfect can't take two steps back, it must always be onwards and upwards!


So. I accept that I've binged in a big way over the last two days. I accept that I need to stay up awhile so I don't puke or get indigestion when going to bed. I accept that I'm even too full to go for a walk without getting a huge stitch. I accept that I binged. I hope that tomorrow will be a better day. If I still need to binge again tomorrow, so be it. There WILL come a point when I'm ready to deal with this, and when it does, I'll be ready. And knowing that I'll be ready, feels so good. I remember when I used to be wracked with self-hatred and guilt after a binge. Acceptance really does make all the difference in the world.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rehash.

It's late, I'm tired, and yet I can't sleep. I've tossed and turned for the past hour. There was something I wanted to do tonight, but I knew that I didn't have the energy to do it. Alaskaboy was also too tired to help me with it. He's currently blissfully snoring away, and my brain is still racing. So, in lieu of what I want to do, I'm here, babbling at my blog. Hopefully releasing something will help me sleep. Tomorrow, however, we do it. It is a technique I learned from one of my creative writing books. Over and over again, you ask yourself, What are you really afraid of? This time he's agreed to help me do this by asking me those questions. Over and over again till we get to the bottom of whatever it is I'm currently obsessing over.

And I know I'm obsessing over something. How? Oh the usual. After we'd got into bed tonight and had our usual couple's wind-down-at-the-end-of-the-day kind of conversation, I had the urge to ask him a question. Lying there in the dark I desperately wanted to ask him, “Do you find me sexy still, even though I've put a lot of weight back on?” Now, those of you who've been reading this for awhile will know full well, as I do, that whenever I want to know the answer to that question, that it's NEVER about whether or not he finds me attractive. I know for a fact that he finds me both sexy and beautiful.

No. This question always comes up when I'm feeling negative about myself or my life in general. Or when something that makes me afraid or angry is ready to be shook loose. And tonight I find myself tired of it all. Tired of the navel gazing. Tired of fighting the diet thinking. Tired of fighting society's conceptions of what is beautiful. Tired of fighting myself

So, am on to bullet points for the rest of this post because I'm tired of fighting for words to articulate how I'm really feeling.

- I stopped my 100 miles in 100days comp. It was feeling too much like a diet thing I HAD to do. I'd missed several days and felt unbearable pressure to catch up. So, I missed some more. Then did two miles straight two days in a row, and while that felt good, I'd stopped enjoying the walk for enjoyment's sake. And I haven't walked since. Hopefully stopping the competition will help me to walk intuitively again.
- I haven't been eating intuitively at all the last few days. Again another symptom of things not being right.
- I've found myself alternating between moments of negative talk and positive talk
- I miss aerobics and I want my carefree days back before the stupid antibiotic reaction. So fucking sick of having to be constantly aware of what I can't eat. So sick of making a fuss whenever I go somewhere. Sick of having people forget what I can and cannot eat.
- I wish I was healthy enough and we were rich enough to have a baby. And to buy our own home, that is a real house in a nice neighbourhood.
- I wish I already had novels published, with many ideas for more salable novels and short stories, and was making money to help contribute to our finances. And yes, I'm jealous of certain bloggers and wished I wrote well enough to have lots of readers.
- SO frustrated that I'm still having to do all this navel gazing crap!
- Am really hoping that when summer comes around I can do water aerobics. Both physically able and emotionally have the courage to go and do the classes.
- Am pissed off that I'm back to feeling uncomfortably fat. Finding it a little hard to get a good position to sleep in in bed. Can feel the heaviness of my belly on my lap when I'm sitting. Hate that my knees can't be together because my belly gets in the way when sitting.
- Am fighting so hard not to hate myself for allowing myself to try and eat my fears away again.
- Frustrated that I can't find the key to stop sabotaging myself. Well, I can, but then it's like an endless series of other locks that need yet more keys. AND more fucking navel gazing to get through the subsequent weight gain.
- Proud of myself that I keep going though.
- Amazed at the depth of belief and trust that Alaskaboy has in me. The scales are still in the bathroom and he won't put them away because he trusts me to be able to stay off them. So far his belief in me is working.
- Pleased that I'm able to say at least one positive affirmation per day.
- I have the courage to continue doing all of this despite the doubts.


And even though this is hard, spending the rest of my life on one diet after another would be SO much fucking harder.

Thank you for listening, and good night.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

What has Intuitive Eating done for me lately?

When I'm all caught up in the midst of repressing my emotions, I forget how good it feels once I've expressed them. The angry post, from the other day, seems to have been the signal to release the floodgates. And boy what a flood it was. Not quite Biblical proportions, but still sizable for all that.

I've talked Alaskaboy's ear off for the last few days. Also, very importantly, I've written letters to the recipients of my anger. I don't intend to send those letters anywhere, in fact I'll probably burn or shred them. However, it helped to really get out exactly what I was angry about.

The letters were less venomous than I thought they'd be, which shocked me. I assumed they'd be chock full of acidic hatred. There wasn't even any swearing! I did use phrases like: "You have no idea how much those words have hurt me over the years", "those things make me feel less than nothing", "Encourage, without criticising", and the biggies, "Tell me you love me, without me telling you first!", "Stop telling me to lose weight!" and "It's my life!"

Some of the things I came out with were a surprise. I didn't even know I was angry or hurt on those particular issues, or that those words had stuck in my brain. And stuck in my brain they were. A lot of the words I use to abuse myself, silently, while looking in the mirror--well, at any time of the day, really--are the very words other people have drummed into my head over the years. Even people I no longer think about consciously are there in my brain, all contributing to the chorus of self loathing.

The lancing of this pus-filled emotional abscess has made a huge difference in how I feel. The very next morning after writing the angry post, I got up and all of a sudden I remembered how to eat intuitively again. I didn't need to push the words down behind a mountain of food. By admitting that I needed to shelter behind the food, and accepting that it was okay for me to do so, prevented me from the diet mentality kickback that usually comes from a binge.

There's been no wallowing in "I'm so bad", "I suck" etc or "I neeeed to lose weight." There's been nothing but self acceptance. My inner self didn't receive the expected chastisement and all of a sudden, she's standing up straight...even venturing to skip a little, rather than huddling in the corner and crying. It wasn't until this week that I truly understood what was being said in both Overcoming Overeating and Intuitive Eating. Now I get it.

Binging is acceptable. As long as you accept that it's a coping mechanism, and the best one you have at that point in time.

And whatever you do, don't berate yourself for the binge. Hands up those of you that have said terrible criticisms, even seemingly slight ones, to yourself during or after a binge. How many? I know I have, innumerable times. The other year when I was first getting into IE, I was very good about accepting my binges, at least on the surface. This is the first one I've actually truly, deep down inside where it counts, accepted that it was all right for me to binge. That my emotions were too big and scary to cope with, so I coped the way that I knew would help me get through, until I was ready to deal with it. And that freedom helped me to completely let go of that binge once it was done.

LSED. Her. She tried to slip back into old ways both yesterday and today. I've visibly put on weight since coming back from Australia. She wanted me to get on the scales yesterday to see how much farther I'd set myself back. (Who gives a fuck how much? It'll come off eventually.) When that didn't work, she tried another tack. Shorts that I wore in Aus were too uncomfortably tight around the waist the other week. This morning, it was actually hot enough to want to wear shorts for my walk. LSED, suggested wearing THOSE shorts.

I knew those shorts wouldn't fit, because I've put on weight since I last tried them on. I didn't even get the shorts out of the drawer. I went with a thin, comfy pair of three-quarter length pants. I've put weight on since three days ago when I wore the same pants but in a different colour. This morning, my lower belly was sticking out very far in the pants. I swear, there could have been a basketball in those pants! And then it hit me. I'm due for my period this weekend. No wonder I'm so much bigger. Bloated up the wazoo! Can you imagine how devastated I would have been putting on those shorts and having them not even zip up?

You see how sneaky LSED is? Nothing is too underhanded in order to get me back on that diet mentality and focused on my weight rather than the real issues at hand.

Her? She's sulking. Me, I feel fabulous. I've expunged some of the anger I have to deal with. I'm sure there'll be more to come, but for now the pressure has eased off a little. And my walk this morning? I enjoyed more than I've enjoyed the walks for a long time. I was completely comfortable, I walked at a pace I was happy with, rather than pushing to the max BECAUSE I MUST LOSE WEIGHT. I've completed the dishes two days in a row, as well as cooking meals. I've even emailed replies that have been due for weeks now because I've been too down to have the energy to respond.

This! This is what eating intuitively does for me. It allows me to accept myself and live my life the way I want. And most importantly, it makes me happy.

What has it done for you?

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oooh look, food!

I made some two days ago as a surprise hearty breakfast for Alaskaboy for his first morning going back to work. but forgot to mix the oatmeal mix properly so some of the eggs ended up making a very thin custard on the bottom of the baking dish. LOL Of the two baked oatmeals (porridge) that Aunt-in-law made while we were visiting them, this is the better version. Perfectly fluffy oatmeal with succulent peaches and a hint of cinnamon. I'll keep practicing it until I can get it as good as she makes it.

A hearty Pennsylvania Dutch recipe if anyone wants it? One square of that keeps me full for many more hours than plain old porridge and peaches could.





And this. Funnily enough a meal I made the day before I started my bender. This particular day I was feeling energetic and without an ounce of post holiday blues. So, of course I made a yummy, healthy meal.





Chilli con carne, Salad(baby spinach, romaine/cos lettuce, cucumber, carrot), mexican rice (very easy just saute onion and garlic along with the rice, use half crushed tomatoes and half veg or chicken broth for the liquid and cook like usual), corn tortillas, ranch dressing for the salad, and fresh chopped coriander/cilantro.

This was more than enough for the two of us. Had a little leftover for my lunch the following day.

And surprisingly, today, my meals were actually that. Meals. not a binge. (B: 4 slices toast, L: veg curry and rice, D: baked oatmeal and hot chocolate. I guess expressing my feelings really does help me deal with them and turn away from the excess food. I wonder if this means I'm closer to mothballing the blankie than I thought?

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My surname isn't Anderson, but I am Angry.

Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, Acceptance. All steps to go through with any kind of grief or hurt. And nothing that says you have to go through them in order or even only once.

(With apologies to Crowded House- Better be Home Soon)

Somewhere deep inside
Somethin's got a hold on me
And it's pushing good aside
See it stretch on forever

And I know I'm riled
Not the first time in my life
That's why I binge hard
I'd better be done soon

Stripping back the coats
Of lies and deception
Back to angriness
Like a week in the desert

And I know I'm riled
Not the last time in my life
That's why I eat more
I'd better be done soon

I can't say no, can't say nothing's wrong
Cos when I dig down deep, anger comes on strong

OOOOOh No, no, no no.

It does cause me pain
To see myself like this
But I must rant again
I must rage, seethe and hiss

And I know I'm riled
Not the first time in my life
That's why I roar loud
I'd better be done soon
Oh-h!
That's why I cry hard
I'd better be done soon


Yep. I'm angry. I've been angry ever since I wrote that post last week. Now that the excuses are gone, I've delved down into new parts of my emotions and life, and I really don't like where it has taken me. Fury. Red hot anger that leaves me jaw-clenched and nauseous. I don't like knowing the reasons why I'm angry. I don't like feeling this way about the people I'm raging at. And I most certainly don't want to deal with ANY of this.

I feel so PETTY! And that's what I'm most angry about. All the stuff I dealt with last year was socially acceptable bad juju. Deep, hurtful, awful things that I will never go into on this blog because they're between me and the people involved. Private things. This new stuff is something I won't go into in depth on here because talking about it will betray the people involved more deeply than I would ever wish to hurt an enemy, let alone people that are close to me And a lot of it is petty stuff. No less hurtful, but still petty.

I want to rage at these people. Spew forth my hurt into their faces and yet I can't. To do so, especially out of the fear and anger I'm currently feeling, would be to irretrievably damage my future relationship with them.

That's the bitch about being furious with those you love. It's easy to call someone a fuckwad and give them the middle finger when you hardly know them. It's easy, in retrospect, to deal with bad juju. It's hard to admit that you're being emotionally abused by people you love. And not of any nastiness or spite on their behalf, but out of love. And that sometimes it comes from pettiness and jealousy.

It's hard to admit people you adore and that you thought were pretty A-OK, are just as screwed up as you are, in their own way. It's fucking awful to realise that people you love don't really want to know the ins and outs of how you're really feeling. They want you to deal with your emotions in the socially acceptable way, by going on a diet.

Not happy with yourself or your life or your past? Go on a diet! Get a hobby! Get a job! Make friends! Have children! Keep a stuff upper lip! Distract yourself by any and all means, but for God's sake, don't come to me and try and tell me that our relationship may not be as great as we think it is. And don't try and fix it. Don't tell me that my helpful suggestions are anything but helpful. Lie to me because I really don't want to know the truth.

It's HARD when you realise that you're feeling this way about several of the people in your life...including yourself! I want to stand in front of the mirror and say all the things I used to say to myself, “Get a grip. Get over yourself. Don't be so stupid. Lose weight and it'll all be better. Get on the scales, focus, focus, focus on losing weight!”

It's breaking my heart that I can't live with that kind of tunnel vision anymore. I want to rush back into the safety of diet thinking, and I can't. So this week, I've stuffed myself to the point of bellyache at every meal. I have all this anger, and I'm not ready to deal with it. So I've been binging. I don't want to feel like this about these people, and yet I do, So I'm avoiding it all. I'm angry that I'm not strong enough to deal with this, angry that I'm feeling it in the first place, and angry that they talk to me this way. Angry that I'm still afraid to lose weight. Angry at so many things.

BUT AT LEAST I CAN ADMIT WHAT I'M DOING AND GO WITH THE FLOW.

Yes, I'm angry. Yes we're all being petty. Yes they're hurting me. Yes, I'm hurting myself by binging. Yes it sucks. YOU BET I'M FUCKING FURIOUS. But you know what? That's okay. I remember all those times I'd go on a binge when dieting and say even worse things to myself. “You pig. You've got no self control. I don't know WHY I sabotage myself. Why don't I have any control?” Blah, blah, BLAH!

All those dieting lies that we tell ourselves rather than admitting we need some comforting to get through something we're not quite ready to deal with yet. A child needs a blankie. So you give it to them. A dog whimpers, you give it a pat. Night lights. Lullabies. All the things we do to soothe children, but when we need soothing, in the only way we learned how to soothe ourselves, then it's all of a sudden wrong? Fuck that! The big, bad boogie man has creaked open the wardrobe door, and I don't want to look at him just yet, so I'm hiding under my food and book blankie for a little while longer. And just like a child, I'll outgrow my need for this blankie eventually. I'll be ready to deal with it when I'm good and ready. It's like toilet training, you can't rush these things.

One day I'll put aside the pretzels, chips, munchy, crunchy, bingy things I've been eating and drinking this week. One day, but not today. Today I'm slowing down. I can write this post and that's a step closer to packing the blankie up with mothballs and putting him away for ever. But not today. Today I need some more hand holding and some mindless comfort. I know that eventually I'll release and deal with all of this anger and move on. But at the moment it's still to big and too scary to wrestle into some form of manageable shape. So, I'll let it out in dribs and drabs in between the vicious destruction of harmless pretzels. But in the full knowledge of what I'm doing. I'm so over apologising for my moods and emotions. So over needing an excuse to feel negative emotions. So OVER needing to be perfect.

Yes, I'm binging. Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I'm hurting. But it's a NECESSARY step on my journey to get well. I hurt too much, therefore I eat. Yes, I've put on some weight. No I haven't got on the scales to see how much. Why do humans have this desperate need to measure, quantify and compare stuff. Who cares how fucking much? It's pain, and anger and frustration that are putting the extra flab on my belly. And once that negativity is dealt with, so too will the results of this binge disappear. But only when I'm ready for it to. . .and not a second before.

I thought all the hard stuff was done last year. I truly believed the pounds would drop off like Doreen Virtue promises in Losing Your Pounds Of Pain. I knew I was healed and could get on with my life and all would be coming up roses and my shit would no longer stink. . . The bitch of it is that admitting or acknowledging the problem is only the first step. You still need to feel the emotions that the admittance generates before you can move on.

At risk of sounding like a sleaze, go ahead, feel yourself. Bring your down and dirty self into the light of day!

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Put Down The Excuse.

In my head I have visions of me standing in front of a building. My fists are clenched tight around bags of booty, but my arms are reaching for the sky. I'm also blinking in the blinding glare of dozens of spotlights. I picture my inner High Self Esteem Guru*, crouched down behind some concealing parked cars and shouting into a bullhorn, "Put down the excuses, and nobody gets hurts."

My accomplice, Low Self Esteem Demon, coward that she is, is standing behind a nearby pillar and suggesting that we take the excuses and run.


Bag number one: I've put weight on thanks to my decreased muscle mass from the medical crap my body has gone through over the past 7 months.

Bag number two: I know it's normal to put a large amount of weight on after such a severe bout of anorexia, no matter how short that bout may have been.

Bag number three: I've been comforting myself with food recently

Bag number four: I got on the scales this morning as a way to distract myself from doing the emotional work I know I need to do, and soon.

Bag number five: I know I'll feel one hundred percent better once I work through the shit.

Bag number six is more of a sack than a bag!: Thanks to reading The Five Love Languages, I've learned stuff about myself, plus my relationships with friends and members of my family. Realising that people I love have inadvertently hurt me over the years through an inability to tell me things I need to hear, in ways I need to hear them. No doubt I've done the exact same thing to them. I know the words my elders used over the years were meant to help, comfort and encourage me in my endeavours, but emotionally those words quite often had the opposite effect.

Bag Seven: Words and promises I've used that were meant to be motivating have been nothing but detrimental to myself over the years.

Low Self Esteem Demon helpfully dashes out to give me a bag I'd dropped.

Bag eight: Visiting with both sides of our family recently, I gleefully talked about the possibility of having a child sometime in the next 18 months. Each time we've come back from the trip, the thought of having kids has scared me into days and days of binge eating. It was easy to talk about having kids there in the spotlight of familial attention, but here where we're so far away from our families makes the decisions seem ludicrous or insane at best. Not to mention my new fear of all things medical.

I stand there, alone in the spotlights, knowing logically that all of these fears and binges are a way of avoiding taking the next step in my emotional growth. Emotionally, I want to drop all of these hefty things and stick my head in the big backpack of food that I know LSED is carrying.

After a whine of feedback and through a few KRRSHCRACKLE noises from the bullhorn, High Self Esteem Guru booms out, “Put down the excuse and go do it!”

This triggers a memory.


A few years ago when we were visiting my in-laws for christmas, my brother-in-law used to say that to his wife. At first I found it offensive. But the more he said it, the more I could see his point. “Put down the excuse, and go do it.”

The excuse was their second child, two months old at the time, and funnily enough when there were things that she didn't want to do, she used dealing with the baby as an excuse not to do it. But if there were things she REALLY wanted to do, oh look, all of a sudden the baby could be adequately taken care of by any of the five other adults in the house. This is NOT casting aspersions on my sister-in-law. This behaviour is a perfectly natural avoidance behaviour that a lot of people use, both men and women.

Putting down the excuse and just doing it. It sounds so simple.

LSED pulls out a nice big bag of Ruffles and opens them with a musical crinkle. “You're not ready to deal with this shit yet. Here, have some more to eat. It'll make you feel better.

Not ready to deal with this shit yet? HAH! If I wasn't ready it wouldn't have come to my attention and be begging for release the last three days. If I wasn't ready to deal with it, how can I have been giving advice to people over the past two weeks dealing with the EXACT same issues I'm dealing with? Except in my case I'm not looking for approval or love from anyone else but myself.

It's so easy for me to tell others what they need to hear in a time of emotional crisis. It's easy for me to empathise with them. I'm very, very good at counselling others to feel more confident and raising their self esteems.

High Self Esteem Guru boomcracklehisses, “Go ahead. Turn around, face the glass and give yourself the same words of encouragement.”

Turning around, I see the awkward position I've gotten myself into. My arms ache from holding up those heavy bags. I lock eyes with my reflection and open my mouth...

LSED scampers out to wave under my nose the last remaining Hot Cross Bun that Alaskaboy made yesterday. "Ignore The Man. They only want to deprive you of your hard won stash. It's our security!"


For too long I've been waiting for someone else to tell me I'm wonderful. So what if others aren't able to tell me what I need to hear?

I chose to put myself down all those years.
I chose to disbelieve almost every compliment I ever received.
I chose to let people's words hurt me.
I chose to live here so far away from everyone else.
I chose to be a writer.
I chose to be where I am today.

I'm healthy. I'm happy. I'm alive. I love and I am loved.

I choose to value myself for my true worth.
I choose to see myself as I am, right here and right now.
I choose to wait until I'm ready to have children, however long that takes.
I choose to love myself.
I choose to be healthy.
I choose to trust myself.
I choose to continue writing.
I choose living my life how I need to live it!
I choose to live in the now and let the future take care of itself.
I choose to respect myself.

My gaze shifts from eyeballing my reflection to see the widening of LSED's pupils. She must be able to see it written all over my face. I put down the bags one at a time. I flex my hands, do circles with my shoulders and stretch my neck side to side. Then, I take the hot cross bun from LSED, and ever so gently force her to eat her own advice.

Then I turn to find High Self Esteem Guru standing beside me in silent support. Momentarily gripping hands with her in wordless thanks for the cavalry's timely arrival, I release her and stride off into the day. Knowing that she'll be behind me every step of the way.



*Wow. First appearance of a new character. About time she showed up! ;)

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Kinda puts life into perspective

What a touching speech.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Raina.

I may not be the person or persons you're needing to hear this from, but every word comes from my heart.

I love you.
Your achievements in regards to your health and understanding yourself over the last few years have been phenomenal.
I am in awe of your mad computer skillz.
Yes, yes you can haz a cheeseburger, anytime you like.
One of my lifetime goals is to spend time with you in person.
Your strength of will and self discipline inspire me to continue on my own road to fitness.
You are a beautiful woman, inside and out.
If there are people in your life who cannot see the wonderful person right in front of them, then it's their blindness that causes this lack of comprehension.
I'm proud to call you, Friend.


Look in the mirror, Raina. Love and respect yourself,because you deserve it.

I hope one day you'll see yourself as I see you. Warm, wonderful, caring and unique.

No! Wait, that limits you to my perception.

I hope that one day you appreciate yourself as you truly are.

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Love Letter Meme.

“Come on girls
Do you believe in love?
'Cause I got something to say about it
And it goes something like this

Don't go for second best baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know, you've got to
Make her express how she feels
And maybe then you'll know your love is real.”

It's easy to give others supportive and helpful comments. I bet you find it even easier to complain about all the things you don't like about yourself or what you're currently finding lacking in yourself. So, I'm starting a new Meme.

Taking as many words as you like, tell yourself all the wonderful things you 're needing to hear. Celebrate your achievements. Toot your own horn. Most of all be kind to yourself Go ahead, write yourself a love letter.

And since it takes two, the giver and the recipient, to make a love letter really shine, I'm tagging two people to also have a go at this, if they want.


Wanna and Marshy!


I'll be posting my own letter within the next few days. ;)

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