Secrets From A Fat.. SO?!

Archive for the category “Weight”

Words to Live By #1

I AM Enough by Chelsea Hellings

You cannot change what is a part of you,
Although I’ve often tried.
My body was never thin enough,
My imperfects I’d always hide.

I smiled when they said I was beautiful,
I laughed when they said I was great.
But it took a long time to believe in their wrods,
I figured lonelines was my fate.

The boys I wanted, didn’t want me.,
I was tossed, used and torn.
So many took me as a joke,
I crawled inside myself- scared and forlorn.

My self-eteem had let me down,
My belief in myself was nil.
I did not understand where I was headed,
Could not until….

I finally decided to believe in me,
I realized that I was worth so much.
This was when I could see through the storm,
When I allowed my soul to be touched.

I sometime wish for money and love,
When times get distressing and tough.
But I know that I will always love myself,
No mater what….

I AM ENOUGH!

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Story of a Girl

Once upon a time, there was a girl. And she was fat. She didn’t like being fat either. She thought everywhere she went people were judging her on her fatness because as life experience had taught her, they were. But this girl kept her head high, ruthlessly resilient and determined to prove to others that she was more than she appeared. For years she shouted from rooftops, preaching her differences, her ideas and ideals, believing that they made her special. The people around her would shake their heads and chuckle, sometimes even giving a small patronizing pat on the head, before shuffling along. It wasn’t that they didn’t believe her, they just never once took her seriously. She was of course, the girl with a million and one dreams. And she was lonely.

 Then this girl met a boy. She had met boys before. But the boys of Before either couldn’t see past her fatness or they tried to hold her back. The boys of Before were like statues, perfectly content where they were in life, and the girl wanted more. She wanted more, much more, only she wasn’t sure how to get it. And this boy, the boy of Now, was on a similar journey. The boy of Now understood how she felt about her body. He didn’t try to fix her but never the less, he was always there to help. He didn’t just listen with interest to every one of her million inane plans or her body concerns, he selflessly jumped in with both feet to help her. And befuddling to the girl, he found her beautiful. The boy shared his life with her. And so this girl and this boy became fast friends and helped support each one another.

For a few months, this boy and this girl lived in a bubble built for two. They shut the rest of the world out of their lives and for a while, that was enough. Months passed by and suddenly, the girl became restless. Through the bubble, she began watching the world move around without her. The life of two was just no longer good enough for her, and again she began to crave something more. Part of the void inside of her had been filled but it was like watching carbonation bubbles deflate after it reaches the top of a glass. Her cup had not yet runneth over. It wasn’t enough that the girl had found someone who loved her completely, she wanted the relationships she idolized that were cultivated on television. She wanted a Kramer and a Carrie and a Lorelei and a Phoebe in her life. In her own way, this girl wanted to create her own family.

“Suddenly I realized – two people isn’t enough. You need backup. If you’re only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you’re on your own. Two isn’t a large enough number. You need three at least.” – About A Boy

But like any illusionist would have you to believe, such things are often much harder to come by than they appear. The thing was, the girl was lucky. Like all human beings, she had the tools to accomplish anything she ever wanted but, she just didn’t know how to use them. And so she went through life constantly asking the imaginary audience, “is this your card” until this girl finally had an epiphany. The truth is, the answer has always been there, had always been there and always will be. It was a simple question really: How could you really comprehend another’s love for you when you cannot understand what it is to love about yourself. Most know what it is to unconditionally love another soul but cannot comprehend what the other see’s in return. Or at the very least, I didn’t.

And so, a little over a year ago I went on a journey to change myself. I may not have understood what I was getting into when I started it all, and my attempts certainly didn’t intentionally begin that way but never the less, it’s where my feet, and heart, ended up. I don’t have all the answer’s yet, and I doubt I ever will. There are days when I feel like I am little more than an annoyance to be tolerated by all those around me and then other days that are full of such joy that words could not even put justice too. I understand now what it’s like to completely surrender one’s will to thyself, not to a god or any one person, and to love what they see. It’s more than not feeling guilty over eating a whole box of cookies. I don’t have to love the parts of me I deem as flaws, but I do accept that, as a whole, it doesn’t make me an ugly person.

It’s a journey of just letting yourself be happy, even when the world around you is constantly trying to rain on your parade. And it’s time to move on to the next chapter, I guess. If the first stage, or chapter, is just loving yourself, then the next is letting people in. That in itself is a scary thought. There are too many fears to simply relay in an already long-ish entry. Fears that are common that almost every single person has ever had like, what if I get hurt? If I can forgive, how do you trust again? How can I communicate well to others? How can I make others understand how I feel?

And the truth is like before, I don’t know. I don’t know how this next chapter will play out but, I can make the same promise as I did when I started out last year, to just keep trying.

Luck Be A Lady

I think most women will agree with me that, being a woman is hard. Don’t get me wrong fellas, I’m not proclaiming one sex has it easy and the other has it hard. I just feel that, in the battle of the sexes, women generally get dealt the shorter end of the stick. You’re free to agree, or disagree, with that statement. But, as you’ve probably figured by now, I’m going to explain why.

Women in general, have a lot of negative stereotypes. And we’ve had these same negative labels associated with our gender for thousands of years. I could get into plenty of detail about the history of women and give you countless examples but let’s face it, not many will disagree about the struggles women and our rights have fought for. When it comes down to the basics, in any culture, in any society, women always have much harsher and higher demands placed upon our heads. And sometimes it does costs us our heads if we fall below those standards.

That’s not to say that being a woman are without their perks. I know there are people who would argue that women today have more unfair advantages then men. But I’m not here to argue which gender has it better or worse than the other. On that note though, one thing I love about being a woman is, we as a gender are amazingly resilient and are always finding a way to push through the envelope. We are always looking for way to place a toe beyond the forbidden line of standards and push our boundaries further and further back till one believes these lines are non-existent. For instance, did you know that since Chinese women weren’t allowed to know how to read or write, for thousands of years they created their own secret code of writing? They wrote poems and letters as they developed their own system, they passed down through generations.

 But sadly, despite wishing for equality, the boundary line of expectations and standards women are supposed to have are always still there, and they quite  never disppear, no matter how hard one tries to wish otherwise. The tricky part of these standards for women are, they can’t really be blamed on men anymore. I mean sure, the jokes men still make about women making them a sandwich are enough to roll your eyes at, but it’s not really what holds our gender back. But I’m getting ahead of myself here and excuse me while I back track a ways.

For my boyfriend Chris’s thirty-first birthday, I decided to buy him a bike. I don’t know anything about bikes. I spent some time nonchalantly acting like any girlfriend does, asking advice months in advance about bikes as if I were shopping around for one, and what kind of bike he would get. And so forth. I was successful in my plan of utterly surprising him but the hitch was, he would be slightly delayed in receiving his present until I could finish paying off what I thought was a good Trek bike from a pawn shop. I was told I could switch out the bike, or bring it back, if anything was wrong. Finally, five weeks later, I finished paying off his birthday present. Three days later, the bike’s gears wouldn’t stay and worse, the bike seat came flying off while he was riding it home from work one night.

Two days later, I took it took the bike back to the pawn shop, hoping I could switch out bikes. But no such luck. The bike seat had gotten lost after Chris almost crashed and had to run to catch the last bus home at one in the morning. The pawn shop told me that no seat, no credit, and that was final. To say I was upset, is a understatement. I tried putting my foot down and pleading for humanity, that it had taken me five weeks to pay this off of my pitiful salary. I tried explaining the sacrifices I had made but none of it made any difference. They were unmoving and unsympathetic to my plight.

I left the store feeling defeated and stupid. The moment my feet were outside, I wanted to run back in and try harder, fight harder. I didn’t feel like I had truly left all stones unturned or tried hard enough. But I didn’t. It wasn’t so much that I was afraid, it was more that, I was afraid of not looking like a lady.

Little girls are told to be good, but above all, to act like a lady. What exactly a lady is, or expected, is tricky to explain and different in many people’s eyes. It’s typical for a lady to be portrayed to be as old-fashioned, conservedly dressed, well spoken and usually found drinking tea. Stepford Wives comes to mind. But honestly, I find that concept a little dated. Because a woman and a lady aren’t the same thing. One is born a woman, and one becomes a lady. But how? And if what we define a lady is no longer so black and white anymore, what makes a woman a lady? It’s bad enough that women degrade ourselves, and each other, to make such an ideal of becoming something as simple as a lady, nearly incomprehensible.

For I knew why I didn’t press harder in the pawn shop. Because deep down, I may not feel like a lady, but as nuts as it sounds, I am always fighting myself to reach that ideal. I’m always trying to teach myself to be more graceful, poised, charming and as much as I don’t like admitting it but, complacent too. And if I had argued back and pressed the issue, till I had thrown a huge scene, like my mother would have, was just something I didn’t know how to pull off. I never reach the lady like ideal, at least not completely. It’s like that quote from Sex in the City, “I know I’ll never be the girl with the perfect hair, or be able to wear white without spilling anything on it, but that’s okay.” And it is okay, at least for the most part. Because I’m not striving to be perfect and honestly, nor does anyone really expect me to be.

The thing is, trying to act like a lady isn’t as arcane as it’s perceived to be. I think there is something to be said about how little we put into our appearances or manners today. A lady doesn’t have to know an entire twelve course place setting, knowing how to use each and every fork. But she does know how to eat gracefully, without slurping or spilling food onto herself. A lady knows how to dress for her body, so therefore there are very few wardrobe malfunctions (but nobody is perfect). A lady is articulate and chooses her words wisely. She debates rather than argue. A lady doesn’t have to raise her voice to be heard, nor does she yell, throw tantrums or often swear. A lady has direction in her life, or at least a life, but does not over dramatize every bump in the road. A lady is comfortable with her body and doesn’t sweat over a few measly pounds.

I know I have trouble with a lot of those sentiments but, for the most part, I do try to live up to what I just said. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty though, the problem isn’t about trying to be perfect or act like a lady. Because having a little tact, a little charm and a little grace in today’s society are sorely lacking. The problem is among our own gender. The boundaries we should be pushing are for less hate and more acceptance among women. Because honestly, we are the ones who label too many of ourselves negatively. She’s too fat. She’s a bitch. She’s a slut, prude, weird, nerd, drinks too much, etc. So, let’s stop being in such a rush to grow up as we’re missing steps along the way and just let, Luck Be A Lady.

Big As You Feel

I long for the days as a kid, where I would eagerly waited to be big. My “bigness” was a trait I adored. I was the one my friends relied on to grab the cookies on top of the fridge and I could get to the top shelf in the hallway closet where anything from Christmas Presents to art supplies were stored. While being bigger came with it’s challenges, like not being able to play dress up with my friends or finding places to hide for a hide and seek challenge, for the most part, I enjoyed my “bigness.”

Being big meant that I was growing up, and like most kids, I couldn’t wait to be older. Being big meant that I would get more and more grown up privileges that I longed to earn. Being big meant that I could stay up later and watch TV Shows I wasn’t allowed to watch before. Being big meant that I could ride public transportation without supervision and be out on my own. Being big meant that I would have my own money to buy things like Christmas presents, or things for myself, without having to ask or explain why. Being big meant that I would someday get to travel and write my own life filled with stories and memories that I only got to hear about from all the grownups around me.

But being big also meant to me that I was unique. Until fourth grade, I was always the tallest girl in my class. But as I lost one status, I gained another kind of “bigness”, except this one was around my middle. Early on, I found ways to put positive spins on my incessantly never-ending growing body. When my mom started taking me shopping in the juniors department, I told myself that I got the cooler, more grown up, clothes. My mom helped me make sure my clothes were hip and tried her best to make me fit in. Instead, the more my waistline increased, the more socially awkward I became.

Because I couldn’t quite fit in, I found ways to tell myself I liked being different. In fact I realized by sixth grade that, if I couldn’t be exactly like my friends, then I wanted to be as different from them as I could. I wanted my own tastes, my own interests and my own quirks that made me stand out from the crowd. I wanted to be different so badly that I had placed a semi-barrier between me and everyone around me so slowly, but surely, I had distanced myself from ninety-nine percent of the people I knew. By the time I reached high school I had packed on a good two hundred pounds. I was wearing size sixteen jeans and I had grown very tired of my bigness. No one refered to me as “cute” or attractive anymore and all I saw was BIG.

My bigness had turned me into a self-conscious recluse. I didn’t like going out very often because not only was my bigness the only thing I thought people saw when they looked at me but, I felt like an elephant in a room full of mice. I was constantly going out of my way to try to make myself smaller because it felt like my bigness was constantly getting in the way of other people. “Excuse me” as my backpack and I bumped into strangers on the bus. It didn’t help that I was growing up in Los Angeles, the universe of superficial people. It was just added pressure because I didn’t know of any other socially awkward bigger girls like me.

But one of the many thoughts that have been mulling over in my mind lately is, what if big is just relative? My whole life it feels like, or the last decade or so, I’ve been the fattest girl in the room. And I felt like that’s the only thing anyone ever saw when they looked at me. Fat, fat, fat, fat quiet don’t give two cents about girl. I thought was no way a guy was flirting with me unless he was old and creepy. I was so sure at what I saw in the mirror, and while I didn’t think I was ugly, I didn’t think it was quite possible for any one guy, not even my ex, to truly find my body attractive. The only thing I thought a guy could ever love about me was my goofy personality that I worked so hard on making loveable.

When I was five, my grandpa was the biggest person I knew. Not only was he wellover six feet tall but he had the biggest, most impressive belly I had ever seen. The older I grew, he was still large, but he was no longer the giant I had imagined him out to be. It wasn’t like he had shrunk, it was more like my perspective had just readjusted. But even as a giant at five years old, I didn’t love my grandpa becauseof his size. I never saw my grandpa as ugly or unloveable or even clumsy because of his size. Just because he was big, it didn’t make me love him any less. His bigness was not the only thing I ever saw in him.

And as I grow bigger and bigger, so does my perspective. Now, at a fluctuating two hundred seventy-five pounds, I wouldn’t have called my teenage adolescent self  fat back then, just clumsy. As I start to shift my perspective now though, I still see myself as a really big girl but, I don’t make myself out to be the giant I originally perceived myself to be. That’s because I’m not. And neither are most people. Like my roommate Devyn explains about how the same aura color can mean different things on different people, so does the numbers on the scale for different bodies.

I have no doubt in my mind that I am fat, and that I need to lose weight to be healthier. That isn’t the point I’m trying to argue. What I am trying to get across is that, what if we were to just readjust our perspective that fat doesn’t make you unloveable. Fat doesn’t make you unattractive. Fat isn’t the only thing people remember about you. Fat doesn’t make you clumsy or mean that you have to make excuses for your size. And here’s the hardest one I had trouble for the longest time believing… that fat is beautiful.

I’ve learned that people aren’t going to remember me anymore as that fat quiet nice girl with brown hair. Because I can literally “put my fat behind me”, I realize people see and will remember me as I am. People see me as the friendly big girl with a pretty smile who likes to laugh, who is silly and who is sort of a brat. Maybe that’s how people always saw me before, and I just didn’t want to believe it.

 The weirdest thing is how most days, I don’t feel big as I actually am. Like an old man who still has a young mind, my body (or mind) seems just not to care of its actual physical size. I squeeze pass without embarrassment when I need to get by. I hold my head a little bit higher and sometimes I sway my hips just to feel my feminine curves and remind myself that I do have a waistline. While I do desperately want to lose weight to feel healthier, and yes attractive, I don’t let it stop me from just accepting who I am now. I’ve beenable to take the “weight” off my mind and stop comparing myself to other people. I am enough.

Falling In Love at a Coffee Shop

I process emotions differently than most people. Like for instance, most of the time, before I become upset, I have to take time to process the events that had taken place. I have to have time to go back and re-visualize what exactly what just happened. Sometimes I’ll re-visualize the same scenario a hundred times. I have to have this time to process. I have to ask questions that begin with ‘what if’ and end with at least trying to see the other person’s perspective. When I’m caught in this in between of a frozen moment, I can tell you I’m fine, smile, and seem like everything’s okay. But inside, I’m numb. Inside, I haven’t allowed myself to process what you just told me. And why do I do this? I guess you could say part of the reason is that I am subconsciously self-conscious about the environment that’s around me and another part is that I’m not quite sure how to feel. Which is a good thing I guess because being in the front line of my over emotional self, there are very few survivors. It’s enough to make more than one man run away with his tail between his legs. So I put up a barrier so I can process my emotions alone, and rationally.

It’s enough to make a woman feel unloved, emotional, obsessed and quite frankly… nuts!

I have a different process of understanding information when I’m learning. Sometimes I’ll be reading a paragraph from a book I’m reading and, just not understand what it means. I’ll put the book down for a few days and subconsciously harp on it till I have that ‘ah-ha’ moment. I’ll subtly ask for second opinions from those around me and keep my eyes open for answer’s. At any given moment, I’m trying to process a hundred different ideas, thoughts and voices within just a day. I just want to know why and how, I just want to understand. I want that ‘ah-ha’ moment.

My ah-ha moment today was about food that loves you back. What? Your probably asking. Food that loves you back? Okay, Sarah, your probably thinking, you actually have lost it. Or maybe you’re not thinking anything and just waiting for me to get on with some cheesy monologue about how we’re all beautiful inside. Sorry, but this trip the train is not stopping there. I don’t really believe food can physically love you back. Or at least not love in the typical sense of the word love. A few years ago I read a book about how French women can take three bites of a dish and be satisfied. While I thought this was a gross exaggeration back then, and I still do, I understood the meaning behind it. When I take sinful bite of chocolate raspberry cheesecake or the first bite into an eclair, I black out into ecstasy. I let every flavor be savored and relished. I swallow and the moment’s gone. For a moment, just a moment, I’m utterly content. Then I want another bite. And another. And another. Eventually I become numb, not completely, but I still search for that sense of completeness I had within the first few bites.

It never happens. Sooner or later, I become full, but not with satisfaction. I don’t feel that love that I had with the first bite. A couple of days ago I read about cultivating a relationship with food. At first I didn’t understand. They wanted me to let food love me back. “Huh?” I thought. I didn’t think they were crazy, I just didn’t understand. I didn’t understand how someone could develop a relationship with food. If anything I thought I needed to break up with food instead of falling in love with it! But, what the hell, I thought. I’m game. I’ll give it a try.

At first I didn’t feel anything different. I felt like me. I didn’t feel like my hot pocket was loving me back and honestly I felt very silly. So I finished my hot pocket in silence while I caught up on my weekly TV shows and tried not to think about how my hot pocket was not in love with me. But what can I say, I’m stubborn. I wanted to understand because I felt like I had a vague notion that deep down inside of me, that I did know what this author was talking about. And because I’m stubborn. Obviously, food can’t physically love me back. I knew that. So I needed a different approach. When I eat a hot dog, or a frozen dinner, I never feel fully full, or satisfied. I feel bloated and full of empty calories. And so I sat back and though. When do I feel satisfied? When don’t I feel bloated and when do I feel contentedly full? And the answer to all of those questions popped up with Chris. Or Chris’s cooking to be more exact.

I feel full around Chris’s food. Maybe I’ll be a cornball and say I can feel the love Chris puts into his food but I think the answer is much simpler than that. Chris cook’s in a way that many of us have simply forgotten, with natural ingredients. He cooks with his soul, and not just in the impatient rush that I’m always in to just eat. When I eat his food, I eat it slowly and I enjoy it. Maybe not the same orgasmic level of a chocolate raspberry cheesecake but enjoyment all the same. I feel like Julia Robert’s in Eat Pray Love when I eat his food. I shake my head back and forth, smile with my eyes closed and make lots of mmmmm’ing noises. I can feel it nourishing my body the way a microwaved hot dog can’t. It’s not a feeling I can justly explain unless of course you’ve felt it. I guess you could ration it off as love. I asked myself, is this what the author meant by food loving you?

But I had to make sure, I had to cover my bases and I had to try this theory again. When my mom asked me if I wanted anything from a fast food restaurant, I said sure, thinking it would be a great opportunity to retry. I had felt nothing with the hot pocket’s and I had to know for sure what food loving you meant. I took the burger, fries and soda upstairs to my room and sat on my bed. I didn’t let my eyes glaze over and forget what I was putting in my body but actually tasted what I was eating. I ate the fries first and besides the unusual blandness I felt nothing. I didn’t feel any love but I didn’t feel well… anything! I tasted icky bland starch but I kept on eating. When those were done I started on the double cheese burger. I was a couple bites in when I realized I had to improvise a new tactic. Instead of waiting for the food to love me, I tried to love it. I took a bite and tried to love it and let it satisfy me the way the cheesecake did. But it never happened. That moment never came. And all I was left with was regret, shame and feeling bloated. I had tried to let the flavors of process meat and cheese satisfy me but in the end, it just didn’t do the job.

Letting the right food love you is like getting a heartfelt hug from a friend who you care about. And trying to make the wrong food achieve the same purpose is like letting a frienemy pick out your wardrobe. I know those are cheesy and weird examples but it’s the best way I know how to describe them. And I know that I need to find a way to make these choices more often. I know now that I need to develop a relationship with food. The rest will play out in time.

A Letter to the Not Thin Me

Dear Fatso,

I know that you like to sleep, because it feels so damn good most of the time, I know! But I would sincerely appreciate it if you would stop hitting the snooze alarm on my phone and wake the hell up! I have a lot of stuff that I would like to get done today but can’t because I can’t seem to pull your lazy butt outta this comfortable bed! I would also appreciate a little bit more energy in the mornings. I’m tired of just waking up and rushing to get ready for work instead of having time to do things.

I hate that you never have the energy to go out and do anything! I hate that you always make me yawn all day long and have bags under my eyes letting everyone see how tired I am. I know I don’t always make it easy but I feel as if I can’t win. I’m tired if I don’t sleep enough and I’m tired if I do. I feel as if I’m slowly getting more energy but common already, can’t we kick it up a notch?! I all but stopped drinking soda and I want those instant results!

I am sorry for poking fun and hating you over the years, when instead I should be loving every jiggle, every dimple and every curve. I’m sorry for thinking that you weren’t good enough. You are. And now that I see that, I think we can collaborate into becoming someone great. I just hope you see this and want to jump on board too. I know that your scared that your heart will get broken again. I know that you are afraid of letting other people see you. I know that you are afraid of people not accepting you. I know you want people to love you because your you, regardless of your weight. And I know that you use that weight as a tool to stick up your double chins and proudly dare for others to love you and your weight. People do.

 But here, see my hand and take it. I will walk with you and together we will face all the critics. You won’t go alone in this. We won’t go alone in this. Because believe it or not, I’m scared too. We have Chris and we are slowly letting friends and family into our lives outside this blog who care just as deeply and love you as much as I do. You will not be alone.

I just want to let you know that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not listening. I’m sorry for ignoring you for so many years. You are beautiful, even when your hair is flying a million different directions because of frizz. Even when you cannot control it when it’s put back into a half bun. I want you to know that when I curl my hair, I curl it for you. I spend two hours of my time to show you how beautiful you are despite the weight. And the compliments you receive aren’t for me, they’re for you.

Together, we’ll do this. I’ll hold your hand on one side and Chris will be on the other. And I hope someday you will have the courage to take off your fat coat and come off to play. But there’s no hurry. No one’s dying, yet. I want us to start living but we can only do so one step at a time. And we will. And I know your trying. Everytime I pass by a mirror I start to see more and more of me in you and less of the you pretending to be me shine through. Just keep trying girl and don’t ever give up.

I love you fatso and someday there won’t ever be a need for me because you’ll have already changed. But I’ll still always be around to remind you to keep your stubborn lazy butt going.

Awaiting your reply,

Your “Thin” Alter Ego Lilly

If You Don’t Stand For Something….

I used to think, that unless I cocked my head ever so slightly in a photo, no matter how I smiled, that photo would come out ugly. I couldn’t seem to stand straight without feeling like a solider and I couldn’t make myself do a cheesy pose like put my hands on my hips without feeling ridiculous. So I stood there, cocked my head and smiled. Because it made me feel pretty.

I know some girls like to do crazy things to make themself feel sexy in a photo, like the duck face. If your unfamiliar with the duck face, it’s when a woman pucker’s her lips in order to give the appearance of bigger lips. Coming from a woman with some of the smallest lips on the planet, the duck face is not sexy. I find the look incredibly stupid and I think women look like idiots when they attempt to pull it off. But that’s just my opinion. I’m all for whatever makes a woman feel better about her image, even if it does look stupid.

But the point is, whither your cocking your head, puckering your lips, tilting the camera to the side for a up close face shot, or holding the camera slightly above your head, these camera tricks don’t really flatter the illusion we try so hard to maintain. Sure, sometimes they can look cute. But at times it’s also like you invent a person who doesn’t really exist.

I’ve surfed through enough people’s photos online, ones where they’re clearly being goofy and still thought, yeah okay that photo still looks like them. But I have also looked at photos where people are obviously trying so hard to take a perfect photograph of themself that they’ve done anything but. And I’ve cruelly laughed at those people. Mostly because I didn’t care much for them to begin with but also because it felt sinfully good to let the not often maliciousness out of my system by mocking their stupidity. I call it detoxing.

I’m starting to let myself grow out of that photo taking phase. Instead, I will usually ask Chris if he will take my photo. I like somebody else taking my photo because it let’s me see the perspective through somebody else’s eyes. No, I don’t like seeing my flaws all out there and exposed. For example, I hate my pale white flabby arms and double chin in that picture. But it let’s me know, “Hey, this is me. This isn’t somebody else I’m trying to pretend to be.”

To quote one of my favourite musicals Rent, “Take me baby, or leave me.” But I’m not asking anyone else to like what they see or to love me, I’m only asking for me to be able to do that. I’m asking myself to take what I see, or leave it. I choose to take it. And I don’t see how I, or anyone, can truly love themself if they don’t love the ugly in themself as well as the beautiful.

So girls, stop making the duck face! Stop making almost every photo of yourself just of your face and tits. Start loving yourself  and beliving that all your flaws, even the ones where one eye is half open and drool is piddling out of the corner of your mouth. Stop trying to make your virtual photo life better than your real one.

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

“I put my heart in your hands… and together we can do what we could never do alone.”

A wise man once told me that over eating is the worst addiction you can have. Worse than any narcotic, alcohol or nicotine addiction you could ever have. Because while over eating rarely leads to dangerous shock withdrawal symptoms, you do need to eat to live! This man then pointed out to me, what if you needed to drink alcohol to survive everyday? Like water! Overeaters have to eat because we must eat to survive! Our bodies cannot function without food. It’s not exactly a disease you can quit by going cold turkey. In fact I rather have that turkey smothered in hot gravy and eat the whole bird please!

We all know about the dangers of eating out. We know that our portions are over sized, covered in grease, fat, and honestly, who the hell knows what else! But what about when you’re at home? While the over sized portions in restaurants are enormous, there is at least the clink of your fork hitting the bottom of the plate to let you know it’s empty and knowing you’ll have to fork over your wallet if you want more. When I moved to Portland, I was introduced to my god mother’s home cooked meals. The problem with that is that there was always the promise of not only seconds, but thirds. Hell, sometimes fourths! It’s after you’ve eaten the entire casserole dish set for eight or till you’ve eaten the whole package of hot dogs, plus fries, some chips, three sodas and half a pint of ice cream do you realize, god I shouldn’t have eaten that.

Maybe because when fat people are out in public, we’re shamed if we’ve eaten the whole plate, or if we’re not shamed, know we can take it home, eat it secretly eat it there and then have more. I am ashamed to admit that when I was living with the ex I was ashamed how much food we went through! And it was mostly eaten by me. That doesn’t include the two or three nights a week we ate out nor when we went over to his parents for dinner. We didn’t eat to live, we lived to eat! It’s no wonder that in just under seven months of living outside my parents home, I gained almost thirty pounds!

I technically live at my parents house now, at least until I move in with my future roomies. But my time is divided up between traveling back and forth from their house, work, and Chris‘s. In a given week I spend about a day or two a week at my mother’s house. Without dwelling too far into my parents home life, I find whenever I go “home”, I find myself habitually living to eat again. I don’t know how it happened, but ever since I met Chris, I’ve slowly transitioned myself to eat to live. It’s something I always wanted to learn how to do, but whenever I try, I almost always end up bingeing so badly after a couple of weeks that when I do fall off the wagon and crash, I regained the three or two pounds it took those two weeks to lose. I mostly have Chris to thank for learning how to eat to live.

While he’s never once commented on my weight (smart man!) or judge me on my food choices, he’s both unintentionally and intentionally helped me lose weight. I on the other hand, feel like the bad influence and have made him slightly gain weight! It’s not just how he always lets me have first plate of food, it’s the fact that I always feel full around him. Maybe it’s the fact he cooks so well, as it is his given profession, that I feel fuller faster and the need to eat less? Who knows. What I do know is that it’s nice to finally have someone fighting in my corner. I know that I am strong enough to accomplish anything I set my mind to, but its nice to know I have someone sitting in my corner to catch me when I stumble. Someone who when I declare my intention for the millionth time to restrain from soda’s will say, “I’ll give up soda too, for you.” Simply because he knows how hard it is for me to resist the temptation when it is around the house.

I’ve never had someone do that for me, in any relationship. Someone who, when I ask, “Hey, can we do grilled chicken salads for dinner tomorrow night?” Automatically say, “Sure, I think I can make that.” etc and so forth. I haven’t quite mastered this whole, eating to live thing but I’m starting to. And I think it’s because I am finally getting the emotional support that I need. I never realized how much my eating depended on not only my own will power but the support of those around me. I always felt that if I could, by myself, only gather that will power to just stop, then I’d be cured. But no, the answer is simple. The answer is love. Okay, that’s cheesy but often the simple answers are. And as I’ve been told, keep it simple stupid!

The answer is love. Loving not just yourself but having people who love you enough to truly see what you need and not what they think you need. On my way home yesterday, I began to think about faith. I am not a big believer in faith. I don’t believe in God but I’m not an atheist. I know that there is something out there and that we are all connected to it through our energy. That I can believe. Love is something I can believe in. Not co-dependant Twlight EMO love but real unconditional love. Love enough to love myself and all my flaws. Love enough to believe someone else will too. Love enough to let other’s live their own life and help where I can. Love enough to let unrequited and old wounds go. Love enough to let new love in. And as I was thinking these thoughts yesterday and listening to Paramore- the Only Exception, I saw a bluejay. Without going into too much detail, the running joke is that whenever my family see’s a bluejay, we say hi to grandma, because she insisted that she was going to be reincarnated into a bluejay. At that little sign, I knew I had come to the right conclusion. Grandma flew away as I said goodbye and I smiled. I think that this something I can jump on board with.

Weight Wait, Don’t Tell Me!

You could say that I’m obsessed about my weight. I think about it… a lot.

It’s a constant conflicting battle I’m fighting with myself. On one hand I absolutely refuse to jump on any weight loss band wagon or diet trends and on the other hand I find myself in a constant war of fat. If Pat Benatar’s battlefield is love, then mine is definitely about weight. It’s a constant struggle, over the way my pants fit – or don’t fit, what or how much to eat. The angel and devil sitting on my shoulder usually have to rationalize my behavior. I am happy with the progress I’ve made so far and even more proud of myself for not gaining any weight back.

But I still unjustly and harshly over analyze every single curve, every roll and the way my butt wiggles. And it’s not fair to my body. My body didn’t just wake up one morning and decided, Hey! Let’s get really really fat! No, that was me. I put every morsel, sometimes sinfully delicious, sometimes shudderingly gross food, into my mouth. No one made me do it. There was no one holding a gun up and saying “Eat or Mr. Snuggles gets it!” Sometimes I ate because I was hungry and at other times, I ate because I was bored and thought I was hungry.

And I know I am one of those weird fat girls who likes knowing her actual weight number. I’m one of those girls who can call herself fat without meaning it in a degrading way. Some people find that sad or that I’m trying to pretend to be strong. Or saying that I’m okay with who I am, fat and all, for shock value. And I’m not. Or maybe I’m projecting those opinions onto others. Maybe it has nothing to do with what I think they’re thinking and simply they just don’t know how to react to such a bold statement like, “I’m fat. And I’m okay with that.”

A delicious grilled chicken salad Chris made from scratch

The normal response among woman is to degrade herself when she isn’t perfect and to expect sad sympathy replies and nonchalantly shrug the cries of compliments off. But when I say that I’m not purposely trying to lose weight, just eat healthier, I’m not sure people know how to respond to that except for a confused and half-hearted cheer of, “good for you.” And I wonder if they truly believe that. Because how often has that line been used before? Yes, I would like to lose weight and hope I do. But it’s not my goal.

 I’m not looking to brag about my healthy eating either. But when you shop where you work, it’s kind of hard for people not to notice what you’re buying. It’s just in our nature to be curious what the people in our life are consuming. I know I don’t have to rationalize anything to anyone, but it’s in my nature to try explain. Especially when I explain to a coworker I’m trying to eat healthier, then buy a couple greasy corn dogs a couple of days later.

I see it as, be a little bit of an angel, and be a little bit of a devil. I feel like that’s just me as a person and not just with food. I lean on the angel side a bit heavier than the devil with my personality and I lean on the devil’s side heavier than my angel side with food. And I’m learning how to balance the two out.

It’s hard to believe that as obsessed with weight that I am, I only weigh myself about once a week. I sneak onto the scale, do my secret ritual, and accept its results until I start all over again the following week. Because of course I hope to have lost weight. For as much as I want to reap the benefits of having a healthy colon and as much as I pride myself about eating less processed and chemical foods, I want some of the physical benefits. I want to be able to sit on a transit bus and only take up one seat. I want to know what it feels like to run for miles before getting winded; instead of from the mile and a half of a somewhat up hill walk to my bus stop. I want to go into a normal clothing store and know that they have something I can wear.

But it’s not about dieting. I am not looking to stay on a plan for a few weeks or a few months and then suddenly go back to old way’s. This is about learning to like myself and how to bring my alter ego Lilly out from just this idea and merge her with me. Now that it’s summer, I would love to incorporate exercise into my life. I don’t mean to become a gym rat. I like the idea of yoga, swimming and eventually running.

We hear about healthy living, from the thin. We hear it being preached by just about anyone but I wonder, how many of them are actually as virtuous as they claim? It’s hard to be around people who brag about all their diet or healthier eating tips because I wonder how often they swallow their own words. Because it’s hard to not hear the smuggness in their tone. Why do we have to change who we are? What is so wrong with just being happy with the way you look? Why do we need to let other’s constantly make us feel like we have to improve the way we are? Why can’t we just be good enough?

I am good enough. I am not looking to change myself because of what society tells me I should look like. I am trying to change myself because how I’m not living, is killing me.

A Spoonful of Medicine

-This entry is a little post dated-

I begrudgingly look down at the cup of fruit I’m eating for breakfast. I really don’t want to eat it because between the battle of fruits and veggies, I’ve always chosen my veggies. So while I imagine little faces on my fruit screaming “neener, neener, neener” at me, I know they’re the good medicine my body needs to be healthy. So I resentfully put the too bitter blackberry into my mouth, and slowly pick my way through. About halfway through my cup of fruit, I’m ready to throw in the towel. I feel full already but I push my way through because I know it’s an illusion. I’m about to start a nine our shift and I know what I just ate will burn off in about an hour. Besides, I just shelled out two-fifty on an already extremely tight budget. After watching my godmother and mother waste on food in a month is enough to feed a small impoverished village for a year (no exaggeration), I hate waste.

 When my much beloved cat Spice died last February, the vet pulled me aside and privately said, “A sign of a sick pet is when they stop grooming themselves.” And I remember how her furr had lost it’s shine, slightly matted on the side. I remember the sparkle had left her eyes. As I sit here this morning, my body trying to gag on a foreign concept of fresh fruit, I thought, couldn’t that same logic be applied to humans? Is it really that simple, that for years I haven’t put much of an effort into caring about simple things as styling my hair or putting makeup on because I was internally sick?  Besides the grapes and watermelon in this batch of food, my body is literally trying to reject the healthy food I’m putting in my mouth.

I think I’ve been sick for a long time. Like an ICU patient, I think I’ve finally been transfered out of intensive care and into rehab. The days I would take time to care about my apperance, usually fell to the first day my ex would be coming down to visit. Once every few months I’d get the urge to “doll myself up” and feel pretty. Shouldn’t that have been a sign? And if we’re going by that logic then am I starting to recover?  Because since my early preteens, most of the time I didn’t really care how I looked as I left the house. I mean I threw my hair back in the same ponytail that I still wear.  But now while most days I don’t style my hair, I do put makeup on and make an effort in my apperance. Does that mean I’m starting to fix the internal problems? It’s a good question.

I think so. I think when a person is internally sick, both the internal and external symptoms need to be treated. When we’re sick, we let ourselves go. We stop caring. We stop using over-indulgence as an occasional treat. We hide. From ourselves and everybody as well too. We pretend we don’t care. And when I say we, I really mean me. But maybe you too, who knows? All I know is that change is slow. Change takes time. All I can do is take one step at a time. I’m compromising with my body too. While it really doesn’t want to eat this cup of fruit, I reward it with a whole wheat bagel and a banana on my break. At lunch I pick up a turkey sandwhich instead of making a bee-line towards the deli and ask my body weither it wants a soda or a candy bar. Of course this is only just one day, one of my better days. But each day I’m trying. Each day I’m trying to get better.

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