Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Magic Mirror, What're Some Good Qualities Of Mine?

An open letter that I've just sent to many people I know. If any of you, my nine readers--ooh how about that? Sauron had nine black riders I've got nine lovely readers!-- wishes to respond, please do so via the email link on the righthand taskbar. Thankee kindly. :)

Now, onto the letter.

As you may or may not know, over the last eighteen months I've been working hard at overcoming my low self esteem and working through the issues that lead me to emotional overeating, aka binge eating disorder. I've made a lot of progress in many areas, but some I'm still having trouble with. One of those is self acceptance.

I've spent a little over two decades speaking to myself in very negative ways. Due to this, I'm having trouble with one of the most important steps on the road to recovery: Positive Affirmation. My thinking and beliefs in regards to myself are distorted enough, that I'm having trouble recognising my positive personality traits and attributes. I feel like the heroine of a story who's been handed the magical doodad that will help her save the day, but the doodad has come without an instruction manual.

Since we cannot afford for me to see a therapist to help me with this--and the self help books all suggest talking positively to yourself in the mirror, which thanks to distorted self-image, I'm having difficulty doing--I'm seeking in you, my family/friends/acquaintances, guides to reading this doodad. You all know me to varying degrees of intimacy, but you all know me as a person. You see my interactions with the world at large, and yourselves. I'm asking you to be my magic mirror, to show me my positive attributes.

Please do not feel obligated to respond. I understand if you don't wish to partake in this exercise.

If you do wish to do so, please email or mail me a letter with however many words, in whatever form, you feel comfortable using. Don't like words, how about a picture you feel embodies something good about me? Perhaps share a good memory or anecdote you have. Maybe even list some way I've had a positive affect on your own life. Whatever you wish to say. But, please do not include any negative descriptions or ways in which you think I could improve myself. (If you think this is a stupid or intrusive idea, then I apologise for sending you this email. In the spirit of this exercise, I ask that you would delete it without informing me of your thoughts on the matter.)

I'm needing a lantern made of your words to show me the path to appreciating myself.

Thank you for listening, and I look forward to anything you care to send me.



Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Moving Up The Charts!

I may not be on Billboard or The New York Times Bestseller List, but you all know how I love me a chart and some stick on stars.

In the past, however, I've been charting my star qualities all wrong. Pretty much the usual perfectionist dieter's attitude, Pass or Fail. All or Nothing! You worthless sack of fat!

100 miles in 100 Days. Minimum amount of Exercise in a set amount of time! Must complete x amount of words EVERY day!

Set myself up for failure and self recrimination right from the get go. This time I'm taking a leaf outta my own book. I remember way back when I first started trying to understand myself and my eating habits, I'd weigh myself every single day. Not to abuse myself or to set my mood, but to learn. Learn how my weight fluctuated over the months. See how different foods, drinks or sleep patterns affected my weight. To prove to myself that the scales weren't the be all and end all of a healthy lifestyle.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm ready to use that tactic on several different areas of my life.

Binging: I can now recognise a binge when it occurs. I can successfully analyse the emotions/causes of the binge. I can get through it without beating myself up afterwards. But, I'm still having them.

Writing: I've got my writing mojo back. I can see where stories are going again. I feel capable of improving on prior drafts of Works In Progress. I'm being regularly productive. But, I'm fooling myself on just how much, and how often, progress is happening.

Exercise: I'm pining for aerobics. I've set myself a goal of being able to walk 3 miles straight regularly before attempting modified aerobics again. So, I go in fits and starts with my exercise because I'm so focused on what I can't do and on building appropriate strength in my legs. Still focused on an all or nothing target.

Charts: There's got to be a batter way of tracking than all or nothing!

And you know what? The trend method works for all of those things. Without my emotions or my perfectionist streak getting involved.

Binging: On the days that I binge, show what I binged on be it food or books or movies, what time of the day, and what emotion caused it. On successful intuitive eating days, give myself a star.

Writing: On the days I do some sort of authorly task, say what it is, how long I spent at it and what I achieved in that time. Give myself a star for real progress made. Note how many days are spent reading as opposed to actual writing/editing.

Exercise: Give myself a star for every day I perform some form of exercise, no matter how long that exercise goes for. And stars for rest days when they're needed too.

Charts: Oooh look, now they show trends. The reasons why I haven't performed a task, why I did, and how I felt along the way. There's grey in amongst that black and white, and the pretty stars.

Aren't they pretty? :D

I am very curious to see how this will go. I learned so much from weighing everyday. I'm hoping to learn a lot from these charts too, until I'm ready to give them up. The same way I gave up the scales once their purpose was over.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot.

I can't help it, every time I think of that particular line in Arrow's song, Hot, Hot, Hot, I hear David Beckham struggling with it in the out takes of Bend It Like Beckham.

But, hot, hot, hot, it is indeed today! It's not quite the right season yet, but it certainly FEELS like summer. So much so that I desperately wanted a raspberry slurpee from 7-Eleven. Only problem is, 7-eleven here sells an overly sweet and strangely fluffy concoction called Blue Raspberry slurpee. Or Cherry, or cola. No orange, mango, pineapple, blackberry or any of the other familiar fruity concoctions I'm used to. (Poor apprentice chef's daquiri = nip down to 7-Eleven on the corner, buy a super duper large mango or raspberry slurpee and on the way back to work suck enough out to give you brain freeze. Then top up with vodka from the bar on the way through to the back, and REALLY enjoy your shift even though it's nearly 50C in the kitchen all night long. LOL)

Where was I? No Raspberry slurpee to be found.

How about some salad and asian pear for lunch instead. Cool, crisp, fresh. Sounds good.

Protein? Tuna? Nah. Salmon! Lemon juice vinaigrette? Nope, would be better with the tuna, but not in the mood for that. How about make something up as I go along? Sounds good.

Wait! There's a whole bunch of strawberries in the fridge that are almost too ripe to eat.

Strawberry Margarita! Ole, Ole, Ole Ole, Hot Hot HOT! Hop to it, Alaskaboy!

Salmon Salad with Greek-style Dressing.
Serves 2:

1 small can pink Alaskan Salmon, drained.
mix to taste with Penzey's Greek Seasoning, powdered garlic, black pepper, olive oil and golden balsamic vinegar.
Set aside.

Wash and chop romaine lettuce.
Wash and chop one beefsteak tomato (or two roma or smaller variety.)
Wash, chop into short julienne, one smallish carrot and half a continental cucumber, or one small Lebanese cucumber.

Divide lettuce between two serving bowls.
Arrange other vegetables on top.
Spread salmon mix on top of vegetables.
Sprinkle with a little extra golden balsamic vinegar.

Served with a side of Asian Pear. Plus the thick, icy, strawberry margarita. It's no slurpee, but it'll more than do!

Oh, and quite honestly, that was the best continental cucumber we've EVER had. And that's saying something. (Alaskaboy liked the salad so much, he wouldn't let me leave the table till I'd written it onto a recipe card. Now to remember the proportions for next time. Aiya!)

I LOVE summer. Well, for today anyway. Bet I change my tune approximately eight weeks from now. LOL


Monday, April 21, 2008

"You dislike confrontations."

Ha-dee-fuckin'-ha! So funny that I should have done that test. That line came back to bite me a little over half an hour ago.

In the interest of self-improvement, instead of ignoring Alaskaboy's tone like I used to do, or trying to internalise and guess why, I actually confronted him. No whiny little girl voice, "Are you mad with me?" Straight up, balls out, and to the point, "Why are you pissed off at me?"

After a heated discussion that lasted approximately 5-10 minutes, he walked away to continue gathering the dirty clothes to take to the laundromat.

Furious, I looked down at my half finished snack, that I was no longer in the mood for, and packed it up. After sticking it in the fridge, I grabbed my sunnies, a water bottle and walked out with a slam of the door. It wasn't until I'd walked several laps of the courtyard that I realised he'd walked away, rather than say something he would later regret. Exactly what I'd just done. While I appreciate the sentiment, it infuriates me that he walks away without saying a word. He knows it enrages me, yet he hardly ever says "I need a time out" like he's supposed to. It shows how long it's been since we've had a real argument, he forgot to say timeout, and I forgot that walking away meant Timeout.

When I'd walked off most of my anger, I came back inside and asked him if he was calm enough to talk yet. No he wasn't.

So I sat down with my snack, and when he was finished with the clothes, he came and ate his. Total silence, other than his savage destruction of those poor defenseless strawberries and yoghurt. Since he was the one who walked away initially, there was no way I was going to open the discussion this time around. (Especially because the original reason for the argument was him being pissed off unnecessarily. I didn't help matters by getting pissed off in return.)

You see, I have the problem of trying to get the confrontation over quickly, so I start the peace talks first, every single time. Not this time, baby! His snack over with, he got up and grabbed the remainder of the supplies for the laundry run. I had the horrible thought that he'd continue this silent treatment, and just walk out the door. (Returning two and a bit hours later!) I burst into tears at the table, dealing with that thought and how it made me feel, rather than running to him and starting the pow wow.

I started my agreed upon chore, bleaching all the raw chicken contaminated stuff from defrosting a chicken yesterday in the sinks. And then was to continue on with the dishes. (Laundry together = RRAAARRGGGH, so we do seperate chores.) He asked me a question about how to wash the brand new skirt I'd worn last night for our early anniversary night out, (more about that later) I said forget about it for now.

The lump in my throat got bigger and bigger. I was lost as to what to do if he walked out without saying anything else. Luckily there was no need to do anything since he did come over and say "I love you", giving me a kiss before leaving.

Again, I cried my eyes out after he'd left, because we hadn't resolved our argument before then. After typing all this I know why he's gone ahead and done that now, he'd be stuck doing it last thing before bed otherwise. But I'm still angry.

I'm also proud of myself for being able to put the snack away in case I wanted to eat it later, for walking off the angry fit, for crying when I needed it, all of this instead of binging my anger away. Even though it enrages me, I am grateful for a husband that will walk away to get himself under control, rather than say regretful things or worse, hit me, in the heat of his anger.

I still loathe confrontation. Like so many other things evolving scary emotions, I'm doing my best to learn how to do it, all because of eating right. Intuitive eating rocks!

EDITED: 740pm. All sorted. We're cool again. Hooray!


This was fun. And eerily accurate.

My Personality

Openness to Experience
Mostly your emotions are on an even keel and you do not get depressed easily, however you experience panic, confusion, and helplessness when under pressure or stress. You lead a leisurely and relaxed life. You would prefer to sit back and smell the roses than indulge in high energy activities. Familiar routines are good, but sometimes you like to spice up your life with a bit of adventure or activity. You dislike confrontations and are perfectly willing to compromise or to deny your own needs in order to get along with others, however you feel superior to those around you and sometimes tend to be seen as arrogant by other people. Your sense of duty and obligation is average and although you are mostly responsible you can sometimes be unreliable.

Take a Personality Test now or view the full Personality Report.

The best Buying Pet Gifts.

I'm glad I took it when feeling better than I was the other day though!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

'Snot a gag.

I got to the line in Shauna's book about holding her Poppy's hand in the hospital, and I lost it. Broke down and cried as though I'd never cried in my whole life and payment on every single hurt had come due at once.

And then I came to the computer to write about my latest revelation, cued up my mp3s on random, and 'Are you lonesome tonight?' blared out at me. Fucking Serendipity, coincidence, or whatever the hell you want to call it.

Right now I'm blubbering so hard I can barely see the screen. Since we're out of tissues, I have my trusty roll of dunny paper on the desk. God, how I wish I'd bought tissues this week. I hate blowing my nose at the best of times because I get all gageriffic over mucus. Tissues can occasionally break, but toilet rolls suck the most. No matter how much you finangle the layers, there's always the chance its skinny little strips don't overlap properly, and you end up with handfuls of snot. But, I s'pose it's better than a bushman's hanky. {Gag}

Okay, enough about snot all right already!

Reading that line in the book put my guard down momentarily and then my emotions hit me with a one-two sucker punch combination.
. . .
. . .
. . .

Sorry about that. Had to take a break to go sit on the toilet and cry for awhile. So much easier to drop the soggy paper in the toilet as I go, than pile it up on my desk or overflow the wastebasket.

Where was I? Ahh yes, the sucker got sucker punched. The last few months I've been focused on dealing with my past. Specifically my relationships with my family members. I've been discovering all the niggly little comments which I've mortared into a strong foundation for the shrine to self hatred and low self esteem that I built when starting puberty. Man, there's been some serious dough invested on extensions, lemme tell you. Since it's humble beginnings, it's gone from a little personal shrine to resembling St Peter's Basilica, I swear!

After admiring its complexity, I got down to the business of demolition. The digging, sweating and painstaking archaeological excavation of LSED's Basilica, plus the psychoanalising, budgeting, and talking with people about How Will We Ever Cope If We Have A Baby over the last three months, have all been in aid of hiding one very painful, personal truth.

I miss my family more than I could ever possibly tell them.

God! Just writing that leaves me disemboweled with my guts pooled under my desk.

I know my Mum will roll her eyes at this, she knows her daughter very well, but I've been trying to pretend that I'm feeling so fine and dandy. I'm all grown up, making my own way in the world, living my dream job of being a writer, married to my soulmate, and have finally made my peace with the city I live in. I hate to tell ya folks, but all is not well in Kadaland.

I feel like I'm living that song, Torn Between Two Lovers. Except not quite. Because Australia and my family are the ones I loved first, I don't love them less, but I DID leave them for Alaskaboy. And yet it doesn't stop me loving them. And it hurts so fucking much that I'm all the way over here. Not only that, I feel torn between both sides of my family and all my friends. They're all so spread out, and so very far away.

Logically I know I'm in the very best place to be able to travel to see everyone. I know I'm in the best place for our life together, but it hurts so very much that my favourite people in the world, are spread out all over that world.

I'm a fixer, and this is something I've finally realised I can't fix. By moving closer to one, I move farther away from another. I'm walking way up there on that tightrope and any shift towards a new location means my balancing act is over and it will all come tumbling down.

This horrid painful longing is something I thought would be over and done with when I moved here. Fucking fiction has a lot to answer for. All the stories “end” at the point where the happy couple ride off into the sunset to start their happily ever after. Living umpteen thousand miles away from Alaskaboy when we were dating, then engaged, was the most horrific emotional pain I've ever experienced. Until today.

With that situation, I had the expectation of moving away, getting married and living happily ever after. Living with your soulmate in wedded bliss means a choir of angels singing in two hundred bit harmony 24/7, right? With this, all I can do is muddle along. I'm perfectly happy most days, but then there's the days where I just want to call someone up and say, “Hi, I miss you, how about you pop on over for dinner/coffee/whatever?” And I can't. Six weeks out of every three or more years just isn't enough.

Thank Christ my Nan was staying at an Aunty's place, too many hours drive away to be able to see me off at the airport this time. With her in the airport I would have blubbered the whole 14 hours home. Seeing the difference in her that three years had made, knowing that in X-years time the difference will be greater, if she's even there at all when I get back to visit, and same with my dog, well, it's had me stuccoing that basilica with troughloads of food.

And we repeated the same kind of heartache with Alaskaboy's family when we went to Pennsylvania in February. In some ways that was a little harder. I'm only just beginning to learn who these people are that raised Alaskaboy to be the wonderful person he is, and I don't have a lifetime of memories to dwell on once they're gone. With my nan and my birth family, the ones who created the awesomeness that is moi, I have memories that stretch back into my infancy.

Ahh fuck it, one isn't harder than the other. Why do I have this insane need to quantify everything? It's all fucking awful. Living so far away from loved ones, seeing them as infrequently as we do, it really brings home the fact of their, and our, mortality. And for the woman whose greatest fear is to be left alone, well that's a real kick in the nuts.

Each time I leave good ol' Melbourne airport, I have to starch my upper lip so tight it's stiffer than John Holmes on Viagra. I'm done with living the lie. I'm not some perfectly sculptured porn goddess of emotional fortitude. I'm the Stay Puft Marshmallow Woman blubbering in the corner.

Writing this has taken much longer than my usual posts. It's a bit hard to type coherently, let alone type at all, when you're crying so hard you're gagging. And my inner perfectionist can take her gag and shove it. It's all her fault that I'm all tied up in knots.

WHY is it that when it comes to admitting the real reasons I'm upset, I'm more bound up than masochist in her mistress's bondage chamber? Where the hell does this Muy Macho need come from to hide that I need and miss my family? Is it all tied up in guilt that I actually left? That I made a decision and I'm sticking with it? That I've mired myself deep in this steaming pile of emotional manure.

Am I that afraid that my family is going to say, “Don't come crying to us, you've made your bed, now you have to lie in it!” No. It's not my family that's been saying that. It's Lil Miss Perfect. She who believes in black and white. She wants me to admit I made a mistake. Give up this dream of this writing nonsense, and take my husband and flee back to the safety of a parental home. Doesn't matter which one, as long as we stay with them and pretend we couldn't make it out in the big wide world.

But, it's not what I really want to do. Not physically. Emotionally I'm learning to leave the gag off and scream with the sheer terror and excitement of my first ride without my training wheels on. I'm a grown up on a big girl's bike, but inside, I still miss those teeny wheels. Calling people and telling you miss them, whilst blubbering all over them on the phone is NOT the same as even a five second hug from that same person. Emotionally I need the comfort of knowing that my family is here, not some nebulous over there.

But, here I am, and there they are, and it hit me today that this is the reality of my life. I did the right thing for me by moving here. Doesn't mean that I can't miss like hell the ones I left behind. Not black, or white, Lil Miss Perfect, but grey!

Or slick green on white if you really must know.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Colour me pink.

Sometimes, Intuitive Eating gets me so frustrated I could cry. When I've spent days hangin' for something that's not available in the whole hemisphere! Well. . .you get my drift. There are other smaller frustrations, which don't quite bring me to tears, but make me wish I could hit something instead. Knowing that a food IS available, but each shop I visit has every other kind of flavour except the one I want, leads to much swearing, wailing and impotent flailing about. Yes, my inner two year old manifests quite readily on those days.

Today I experienced a couple of other kinds of frustration.

I *really* wanted toast for lunch. Specifically, really crunchy toast with mayonnaise and sliced tomato on top. The bread here in America is quite spongy, so it's almost impossible to get it really crunchy without burning the shit out of it or having it dry out. Dark brown I can handle, charcoal and/or dessicated, not so much. Having pondered crackers with the toppings, I knew my body was in it's all or nothing phase.

Veruca, honey, I know you want it and you want it now, but we don't have what you want.

Narrow-eyed AND pouting. Shit, shit, SHIT! If I couldn't figure this out, I'd spend the day binging.

Bake it in the oven?
Nope, big crouton, same as crackers.
Cut it into strips so it dries out quicker?
Nope. Like a cracker again. Gimme a whole, thin, un-spongy slice of bread, dammit!
Thin, eh?

I had to hunt through the drawers to find where Alaskaboy'd stashed it, but eventually I surfaced with the rolling pin. Take that, bread!

MMMMMmmmm. Crunchy, not burnt, slices of toast to whack my tomato and mayonnaise on. Bliss!

Now to the cup of tea. I let it steep, inhaling the delightful smell as I munched on my lunch. Finished up and was ready for my drink. Taking the tea ball out, I brought the cup to my nose to get a good whiff before I added the milk and sugar. I expected a sigh of anticipation. Instead, I made a noise of disgust.

This isn't the first time this has happened. I don't mind so much if it's something that can be saved or reheated for later consumption. When it's something that needs to be thrown out instead of noshed on, I go beyond frustrated to shitty. “I paid money for that food. You said you wanted it, and now you're not gonna eat it? Think again, Missy!”

Wait. You mean I'm not really allowed to be intuitive? I can't change my mind? I have to follow the same mantra that was shoved into my head as a kid by every single adult I ever met?


This week I've felt like I've been flying along on my brand spankin' new bike. Confident, knowing I've got the hang of it at last and pretty sure I could dodge future obstacles as long as I keep a good eye out ahead. In that moment I felt like someone had jammed a stick in my front of the boy I liked and all his friends.

I do believe I blushed, right there in the middle of my kitchen.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tooooo cute!

You thought my Mallowpuff nommage was good? See the hedgehog Nom Nom Noming a carrot.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's a bit brisk!

No, not the weather, my walk this evening.

Yes, that's right. For the first time since the allergic reaction last year I was able to use a brisk pace for my walk this evening.

I'm so thrilled!


Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I made a beginner's mistake.

I got too hungry.

Alaskaboy got the month of our anniversary mixed up, due to a misunderstanding of the month we were actually in at the moment, so consequently I was off on a mad shopping dash yesterday to find something to wear. I would still have done the mad dash, getting rid of all my too big clothes has led me to having no 'going out' clothes, other than winter-weight ones. So the reason for the shopping wasn't the problem.

The actual shopping was. Choosing the clothes was as usual a frustrating exercise. Clothes I liked were available in too small or too big, or not quite flattering to my body. So they were left with the dressing room attendants. Add to this, the fact that every woman and her sister were out at the shops yesterday, while it seemed every other cashier was not at work. What I'd expected to be a reasonably short trip, ended up covering five or six different stores. Add in the fact I don't have a watch and daylight savings has kicked in....

Now, I'd had a pretty decent brunch. Completely filling. I even ate just a little more than I strictly wanted, in case I'd got caught out later than expected. But by the time I headed home, I was starving. The last shop was a mere two or so miles from my house, so I figured I'd be home in a jiff and could chomp into the yummies we had in the fridge. Nu-uh. I had to stop at each red light. To make matters worse, Every. Single. Restaurant. was in pre-dinner ramp-up-the-cooking mode. There was no way I was stopping for anything. Not with the money we'd spent on groceries the past couple of weeks. All that perfectly delish food in the house just waiting for me to come home and nosh on it. Besides what I wanted to eat was at home. Accept no substitutions!

When I got home, was a wee bit tired from five hours of shopping, but that's usual. I whipped up some kimbap (korean style sushi) from ingredients I had on hand. Pre-cooked brown rice, sesame leaf, carrot, cucumber, egg, seasoned squid, korean seaweed sheets. With two rolls worth I took my time, savouring the food. (Although I admit the first few pieces were inhaled.) The flavours were exactly right, with a satisfying contradiction of smoosh and crunch. But when I was done, I was unsatisfied.

My belly was satisfied, completely and utterly. I had no trace of hunger. I even felt comfortably satiated. Neither too full nor too empty. That is how I remember I like to feel after eating, and only discovered thanks to Intuitive Eating. But I wasn't satisfied. I tried shaking it off by reading a new book, one I'd been waiting years to be published. However, my body and my sense of self were not satisfied, I even felt cold and shaky. This despite sitting under a warm blanket, fully clothed.

And so the hunt for satisfaction began.

Tried a warm drink. Nope. Tried some leftover beef potroast. Nope. An icecream? No. Peanut butter on corn thins. Seaweed Salad. Cheese and crackers. Another whole packet of the Korean seaweed sheets. On and on, I tried different foods. My belly began to ache, but still I kept returning to browse the pantry/fridge. Whatever the combinations I ate, it seemed to work, for eventually I felt satisfied. After that, I had no need to eat any dinner, even staying up for many hours past my bedtime reading that book. ;)

And today, I'm paying the price for all of that rich food I consumed. I haven't had so many trips to the bathroom in a long time. So far today I've had some crackers, a large cammomile tea, and some chicken broth with two minute noodles. And I don't feel hungry. It seems my body is busy pushing on through the food from yesterday, and trusts me to treat it right in its time of extremity.

Before yesterday, I'd never experienced that kind of eating, at least to my knowledge. It felt like my body had panicked. Perhaps it thought I was going on some sort of crash diet or hunger strike? Thus it needed to get fuel in ASAP and AS MUCH AS FUCKIN' POSSIBLE, YA HEAR ME! It was an unsettling experience. It wasn't like other binges where I'm not really aware of how much I'm putting in my mouth. I was aware of every single bite, and how it made my body feel. Yet, I was helpless to stop. This was nothing like emotional binges of the past, my body had hold of the reins and wasn't sparing with the whip.

It scared me. It also removed any lingering thoughts I had about going back on a diet. That voraciousness is how a body is built to eat when the feast follows the famine. I experienced, aware and mindfully for the first time, exactly what my body had been trying to tell me every other time it managed to get me to stop dieting. It also made me aware that I need to take a snack with me whenever I leave the house, or stop to buy something next time. It's perfectly okay to eat something small to tide me over until I'm ready to eat the next meal that I'm really salivating for!

I didn't want to waste time or money to stop and get a banana or some trail mix from the supermarket on the way home, or even something from the numerous petrol stations, so instead I've wasted god only knows how many dollars in excess food, toilet paper, and water.

Lesson learned? You betcha.


Saturday, April 05, 2008


This is an issue I'd intended to write about if I start up a writing blog. But, it all came to a head today.

And I freaked the fuck out.

Not in any huge drama queen kind of way as is my usual wont. This was more of an implosion. There's been signs that it's been coming all week. My eating has been intuitive at nearly every meal, and my positive affirmations have been flowing, so physically I feel good. I've made a few half-hearted plans to go walking but at the end of the day I'd head off to bed without any exercise. I'm understanding of that because I have been tired with all the writing, thinking and psychologising I've been doing this last few weeks. Sometimes this acceptance stuff gets pretty draining.

Emotionally, I'm running scared.

Last night on the phone with my Mum, I boldly declared, “I'm so happy being a writer. All these wonderful things are happening, and I can say with complete belief that I'm an author. Since we've paid off the car, we can now put that money away as though I was 'earning' it. Thus I don't need to work part time and I can concentrate on my writing and anyone who thinks otherwise can bugger off.”

Well, something to that effect anyway.

And Mum's response blew me away. Again, paraphrasing here because I'm too tired to remember the exact wording. “Who's been making you think you need to work part time?” I literally stopped, when she said that, mouth agape. My brain cried out, “You have!” Those words never made it out of my mind, thankfully.

But then my lizard brain kicked in and taught me something very important. (repetition of a previous realisation I'm sure. Am kinda thickheaded on some things.) Mum's only been asking about it because every so often I make noises about going out to get a “real” job. You see, both of my parents worked full time when I was growing up. Both of my grandparents had jobs, sometimes two jobs, even into their retirement years. My grandpa delivered newspapers by pushing a shopping his 70s!

What brought about my implosion was not only that conversation last night, but reading a book the day before. A book I've read and enjoyed many times over the years. A novel by Tanya Huff called The Quartered Sea. The main character in this book is so self-pitying you want to smack him into next week. He's so busy bemoaning what he lacks, he doesn't realise what he's got.

And I quote from page 26: (Emphasis is all mine.)
“Fine. He's not a boy. And sympathy is not the same as pity. Jazep, your name-father, only Sang earth, the most restricted of all the four quarters and I never felt pity for him.”
Because he never invited it. Benedikt does. Thanks to the misplaced enthusiasms of his parents, who were rather like ducks raising a songbird, he doesn't see what he has, only what he lacks. Not all of the time, of course, or I'd have kept him with me longer—but often enough that he's convinced the rest of you that it's a lack as well. He is a bard, after all, and bards can be very convincing.”

And that's ME! I've been so busy feeling guilty because I don't have a “real” job like what both my mother and grandmother had, that I'm feeling insecure. Insecure and unsure about my right to be doing what I'm doing. (And of course blaming them for nagging me about doing something I don't want nor have any intention of doing.) And by feeling insecure and unsure, I've been broadcasting that fear with every single conversation I've had with my family and friends. And family and friends can only go by what you're telling them. I've been SAYing a lot of stuff, but my actions have been SHOUTING my insecurity and desperate feelings of NOTRIGHT! NOTRIGHT! NOTWORTHY! So, they assume that I'm unhappy doing what I'm doing and take me at my word that I'm going to find a part time job when X period is up, just like I told them. So of course they're going to start asking about it when that time comes around.

And then I go back to being defensive again. But defensive is good, you see. Defensive is a crutch. I can wallow in self pity. Binge; because no body understands me and basically give the world a 'fuck you', and I don't have to write because nobody believes in me, and I'll fail anyway so what's the point and oh Look! ICECREAM!

The last few weeks I've been unable to do that.

- I'm co-editor on something I'm enjoying doing..
- I've received the same comment from two different people. “This story is your best short story yet.” And these people have been familiar with my work for many years now.
- Out of the blue, I received a compliment: a woman remembered my writing, from the times I'd asked her for a couple of critiques during the time we belonged to the same forum. She remembered my writing and my personality so well that she was recommending me to join her writing group.. She had no part in the selection committee but would put a good word in, if I wished to join their group. This is a group for those seriously committed to improving their writing and getting published.
- I've received an invitation to join a writing workshop. The clincher being that it's for authors that the person running the workshop believes are at a near-pro level. Meaning they're almost there, just need help refining rough spots and techniques.

All of this has me, as I mentioned earlier, running scared. So fucking scared. Not only do I have no excuses, but it's now crunch time. Put up or shut up. I'm now exactly where I've dreamed of being, in regards to the start of my career, and I'm running scared. I know this because the house has gone to shit. (Those signs I mentioned in the first paragraph?) I couldn't even cope with going to the laundromat today, like I'd promised Alaskaboy I'd do, so that we can do a bunch of stuff together this weekend. I have bags of non-perishable groceries sitting on the floor where I've dropped them, in walkways! Dishes strewn over the benches, tables, sinks and into the loungeroom. I'm in full-on slobby hermit mode. And of course I ate more than I wanted at each meal. Not a full on binge, but a sleight of hand thing to distract myself. I even binged on blog archives. Ooh new and shiny!

In short, I, and my surroundings, are a mess. And messy--let's get this straight, filthy--surrounds are a dead giveaway that I'm conflicted, badly. This is my dream. Has been my secret dream since I was 13 years old. I love words. I must write. I want so very fucking badly to be an Author that it's killing me that I'm here now, on the cusp. Because once I step through that door, it's up to me then. There are no more excuses, and I'm petrified. Do I REALLY want this? Am I truly prepared to put in the hard yards to get the kind of career I want? Am I prepared to do this as a job? Not a hobby or because it's fun, but as a job. Cooking wasn't what I thought it would be. I'm afraid that may happen with the writing.

But, most of all, I'm scared to try and be found lacking. All of my life I've given up rather than truly try and be found wanting. But this? I've been saying for five years that I'm an author, and now it's time to put my money where my mouth is. I'm living it, people. I'm doing this as a job. I owned up to my mother, and to MYSELF, that this is want I want to do for the rest of my life. And now that I've admitted to myself how very much I want it, I'm scared to reach my hand out and take what's on offer.

I'm so very busy worrying about what I lack, in skills, confidence etc, that I can't see what I do have. The fabulous wealth that I have in health, time, opportunities and love. And so, today it all fell in on top of me and absolutely nothing got done. I went seeking inspiration elsewhere. I found it on several other issues. But this one. It comes down to what I've been working on the last few weeks, but with a different application. Acceptance. Accepting that I am a writer born. But even Talent does not a Writer make. I'm still in my apprenticeship phase. I'm learning. And so help me I hope I keep learning for the rest of my life.

Learning, changing, creating, that means I'm alive. I honestly cannot imagine doing any other job than this. This is both my passion and my life. I live for words. Do I have what it takes to make words my living? Do I have what it takes to get more rejection slips? To spend hours alone at the keyboard. Writing, rewriting and revising until I get it right.

I think I may have enough courage to find out.
. . .I think.

. . .I hope.



Just. . .Wow!

This study is discussed a little in Intuitive Eating. Man, I'd love to get a hold on this full report and make it mandatory reading for every doctor or person who thinks that Dieting is a cure for anything.


Friday, April 04, 2008

You're Weird, Sir.

I'm not a big Peanuts fan, but my husband is one. One of the things he says, quite often and with good reason, to me is, "You're weird, Sir." I've always known I'm weird. (Take a look at the previous vid-post to see an example.)

I even knew my eating was weird. As a kid, or sometimes as an adult, I've been known to have ketchup / tomato sauce on toast for breakfast. Love cold lasagne. Mashed potato sandwiches. Raw ramen noodles, gnawed straight from the block. Raw potatoes...must be peeled.

And so on and so forth.

The thing is, I didn't realise my intuition is also weird, with a capital WUH! WUH-EEEEIRD.

The other day for breakfast. A cooked chicken breast. A bowl of dry honey nut cheerios. A glass of apple juice.

Dinner the other night. Lasagne. Slathered with tomato sauce / ketchup.

But tonight? Tonight takes the cake. (So far!)

I've been craving kimchee on and off for about a week. I keep forgetting to go to the Korean store when I'm out, and when I'm in, I'm writing. So, no kimchee. Tonight I was hankering for a burger. Specifically an In'n'Out burger. No. 2, Animal style, extra toast. YUM! With a pink lemonade containing extra lemon wedges.

Problem is, I couldn't be farked going to get it.

I hemmed and hawed. I even ummed and ahhed. And swore under my breath. I got that hungry I had some wicked bad breath going on, but I still didn't go and get the burger. Guess that meant I didn't REALLY want it.

Oh pantry, oh fridgey, I'm hungry! I spotted the spankin' brand new jar of sauerkraut. OOOOOOH pickled cabbage. I had to fight that sucker open. Bashed the lid with a knife over and over, and just about wore the grip cloth thing to a nubbin', but I had my sweet/sour pickley goodness.

MMM that whetted my appetite.

Yes, Yes, now I'm feelin' it.
Onions. Garlic.
Red Capsicum.
Ohh yeah and some baby spinach.
With... Hmmm. Shiitake mushroom oyster sauce.
And ramen noodles (2 min noodles with no flavour sachet.)


And peaches. On the side.

And it MUST all be eaten with chopsticks.

Say what?


I want the slurpy noodley goodness, and the pickley crunchy cabbagey bits, and some sweet peaches mixed in as I want to eat them. But I WANT chopsticks.

I could hear Alaskaboy's voice in my head, "You're weird,Sir."

I can also hear Billy Connolly saying, "That's a mow-tin of cabbage!" It's not really a mountain, just looks like it. No more than 2 tbs worth. I promise!

And with chopsticks I did gleefully slurp, crunch and munch away.

About all I had left when I was finished was 2-3 tbs worth of food. But, I stopped. . .because I had a date with a mallowpuff. :D

In alll those books, they don't mention how WUH-EEEIRD intuitive eating can get.

What's your weirdest IE experience so far?


Fangs For Da Memories!

CD by Raina.

Nummies from Raina.

Video = Gratitude from Kada.

In case you can't hear over the LOUD music.


Hi, Raina.




'Um 'Um 'Um Om Nom


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Scaling New Heights.

“Psst, hey!”

I turned and saw LSED grinning fit to burst something. “How did you get out?”

“Oh,” She blew on her knuckles then buffed them on her virulent green shirt. “I have a way with picking things apart.” Looking up from inspecting her nails, her gaze hammered home into my eyes. “Locks, brains, self esteems. The usual.”

Shaking my head I walked away. I'd resolved to ignore her this morning because I was on my way to say my positive affirmations.

She couldn't help herself though. I heard her skipping after me. “You pass the scales on the way to the mirror.”

“Yes, I know.”

“And you're already naked. . . .”

I rolled my eyes. “That IS the best way to do affirmations concerning your body.”

She darted past me into the bathroom, and turned to block the doorway.

Her morning breath, noxious as the words she used, halted me in my tracks. “Look,” she gestured to her left. “Naked woman meets scales. Match made in heaven.”

A waft of spearmint washed past my nose as I heard from close behind left ear, “Get on the scales.”

The smell was divine, but those words coming out of High Self Esteem Guru's mouth? Settling deep into the cushiony feel of my blue crocs, I had that heavy feeling, like when you get out of a pool or crawl back up onto the sands after frolicking in the waves.

My stomach roiled.

“Trust me,” whispered that minty fresh sweetness.

LSED ushered me into the bathroom, her grin still huge but her eyes narrowed in suspicion.

After slipping off my Crocs, I took a deep breath, and let it out. I stepped onto the scales. Their coldness penetrated my feet as I waited for the number to show itself. Hmm. Not bad, I've lost half a pound since my last weigh in. Stepping off, I poked my tongue out at LSED.

A warm hand rested between my shoulder blades, preventing me from moving farther away. “Get on them again.”

I did. Three pounds lighter.


My feet warmed the scales even as confusion clouded my brain. Two pounds lighter.

“Twice more.”

Again, it showed two different weights. The last one being the same as the initial weigh in. And then I turned to stare at LSED. My wide smile forced her shit-eating grin right off her face. “The scales are useless.” I said, surprised at how cheerful I sounded.

“But. . .” Her eyes lit up. “I bet the batteries need changing.”

My cheeks were starting to hurt I was grinning that hard. “No, they're fairly new.”

Both LSED and I knew the scales had always done this to me, but that was the first time I'd seen what was happening. I've always weighed three times, to ensure an accurate measure, you see. Before, if I was feeling good and wanted to boast, I'd take the lowest number. If I was feeling honest, I'd take the middle number. But, if I was feeling like crap? Yup. The highest number.

“The scales are useless,” I repeated. I could feel the goosebumps on my skin, but I was warm all the way through on the inside. “My grandfather was the jockey. Not me. They're only a number. And have nothing to do with me, my job, my self esteem or my health.”

She tried to stare me down.

“We won't be having this conversation ever again.”

The implacableness of my tone must have gotten through. Head down, LSED squeezed past me and slunk off back to her cage. First time in living memory she's gone voluntarily.

Chin up. Shoulders back. I stepped in front of the mirror and loved what I saw.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Author Stuff.

Long time readers of this blog know that I'm a wannabe author. I write in both the Science Fiction and the Fantasy Genres. I also dabble in poetry.

I'm contemplating starting another blog. Much like this one it will involve tales of the highs and lows of striving for success, but instead of being about weight loss and health, it will be about reaching for the goal of Publication. (and staying published once at goal.)

As I said, I'm still toying with the idea.

Over on the side bar there's a poll asking whether or not you'd read it. If you're a reader of this blog, even if you're a lurker and have no wish to comment, please take the time to vote in the poll. You can select more than one option.

Your input is much appreciated. Thanks!


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Interesting reading:

I've recently discovered Meg's blog over at I Am That Girl Now and this post I found very interesting. Not just for the books she reviews, several of which I haven't come across before, including Rethinking Thin:

Rethinking Thin is more coy about its main premise, and instead leads the reader through the whole thinking process, handing us more and more evidence along the way, until we reach the end of the book gaping at the sheer overwhelming mass of accumulated evidence indicating that the diet game is complete bullshit. Even better for the average reader (i.e. those without a weight problem) who is likely to think that the problem with fat people is that they don't really, REALLY try to lose weight, this book also follows a group of people serving as test subjects for a study on whether Atkins does better than traditional calorie-counting. We meet them, we see their initial desperation, we share their initial triumphs and fall into the same belief that this time, this time, it's going to be different and they're going to make it, they're going to become skinny. Then, as time goes on, we see the inevitable plateaus, we watch them struggle as their bodies take back control of the situation and render each dieter helpless before their hunger and the need for a variety of nutritional components. In the end, the system didn't prove that one diet won out over the other-- it concluded that they both sucked.

But also for the conclusions she draws and the way she applies those lessons in her daily life. Most notably in a telephone conversation with her father.

I'm looking forward to going back through her archives.