Thursday, July 30, 2009

my weight -- continued

i'm blown away by how addicted i am to the scale. it reminds me of when i gave up alcohol -- as much as i wanted that drink, i want to know that number. i REALLY didn't realize how hard this was going to be.

yes, i got on the scale today. twice. on my boyfriend's scale, i've lost two pounds. on my brother's, i've lost one. when i saw the two pound drop, i rejoiced. at my brother's, i had to convince myself that life would be okay.

this is not the way the rational part of me wants to live. SO,

TOMORROW I WILL NOT WEIGH MYSELF. it really is like alcoholism -- i have to take it one day at a time. do they have a Scales Anonymous?

of course, the big fear is all the weight i will gain if i'm not monitoring myself. i'm pretty convinced, i'll gain some. i long to eat more than i do.

unfortunately, i don't feel like i have the patience for mindful eating. i don't want to think about eating. i wonder why i'm so resistant. why does it scare me?

with all of this recent awareness that i'm feeling like a lunatic about my weight, i've been thinking more about food. perhaps my old compulsive eating tendencies are talking. perhaps, it's because i've let down some of my walls and my inner eater feels freer to express her desires.

when i talked to my therapist, i asked, what will i be if i'm not defined by watching my weight. she asked me what i liked about myself besides the fact that i've managed to maintain a decent weight? ...........Silence. but then i did think about a few things, and she suggested i repeat those things to myself when i start to worry about numbers, numbers, numbers.

i write all this and wonder if you, the reader, will think i'm having a meltdown. but i'm not -- this is the way i always think, but i just thought it was normal. i'm starting to seriously question it now -- it seems like progress.

well, enough of my meandering. wish me luck for tomorrow. i'll let you know. hope to make myself proud!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

me and my weight

today was the day i wasn't going to weigh myself. i had the whole thing planned -- deprogramming the scale. well, deprogramming me and getting off the scale.

what a miserable, out-of-sorts girl i was yesterday. why -- i've gained four pounds. yup, it ruined my day. i couldn't sit still. nothing felt good. i missed out on the sun, my good book, seeing friends.

it's been years, and i've worked on myself with care, but i still define myself by a number. it's crazy, destructive, a waste of time. if i weigh 127 or 128 it's a good day. 129 is an okay day. over that -- i fidget. it's great that i'm happy at 127, versus the 98 i used to love (a really low number for me. i look really skinny at 120)

what do all these numbers mean? 98, 120, 131? is the scale always accurate? why does it matter?

still, i actually thought i looked different with four more pounds. when i went into new york yesterday, i spent half an hour in front of the disgusting public bathroom mirror in the bus station trying to quantify the changes.

i hate living this way. it's too hard. i need to get off the scale AND allow myself to find a comfortable weight for my body and begin to accept who i am.

my first step - i told my boyfriend that i feared he wouldn't want me if i gain weight. he put his arms around me and said, i love YOU. i reminded him that i weighed ten pounds more when he met me -- would he be okay if i weighed that again? he said he couldn't tell that i'd weighed ten pounds more -- was i sure? (it was about 15 pounds more.) God bless him.

as ridiculous as this all sounds, the conversation helped a lot.

i'm being pretty honest here -- this isn't stuff i usually discuss, because i know it sounds certifiable.

i long to accept a heavier body -- it would make my life a lot easier. i look at happy woman who carry more weight than i and seem really comfortable.

this is a very old dream. i've always looked at plus-sized models and felt my body belonged there. i wrote about going to Lane Bryant and feeling more at home.

who knows. step 2. let me have a scale free day. maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

on the road and out of sorts

i'm in alaska. i'm out of touch with my body.

i don't know if i'm hungry or tired or would feel better if i had a drink (i'm not drinking!). i am taking ambien again (damn).

before i left on this crazy business trip from new jersey to texas to alaska in four days (and leaving for new jersey tonight. 12 more hours of travel, returning on the red eye), i was in the best place of my life: i slept without sleeping pills (!), bought and started riding my FIRST bicycle, ate well and was enjoying my ever better relationship with my boyfriend.

just a few days later, nothing's in place. all this flying and time zone switching (we're now four hours earlier than home) has frightened my comfort zone, particularly as i just can't tell if i'm hungry or full or just tired and nauseous.

i'll be home tomorrow morning. i may not feel great for a day or two, but i'll be back on that bike and ready to roll back into good health.

aside from all this crankiness, seeing new places is cool. Alaska is extraordinary --the air, the mountains. After our meeting, we'll have time to explore. It's a whole different world.

Hope everyone's well. Back soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

you don't have that kind of time.

"i remind myself i'm not lazy," said eve. "i'm on a spiritual path""

eve has taken a little time off from work. she's going through a HORRIBLE divorce. her ex is threatening. her last boss propositioned her. her finances are low.

but she doesn't want to work for now. instead, she's sleeping, hiking, meditating, reading Deepak Chopra, searching for grace.

it's working for her.

her words stopped me cold. i got goose bumps. i too am on a spiritual path, embracing calm and peace, becoming kinder, more patient, working to be non-judgmental, questioning old long-held beliefs. searching for grace.

a lot of things that used to drive me crazy about myself seem way less important. so what if i always lose the bathroom key at work, as my sister-in-law enjoys pointing out. yup, i lose the bathroom key.

so what if i'm terrible at washing dishes, quake at the sight of a spreadsheet, always spill food on my clothes?

i've always beat the shit out of myself for every little mistake and quirk. but they kind of get lost on the path to spiritual peace.

i've been reading my favorite Anne Lamott lately. Just because i love it, here's my absolute favorite Anne Lamott;

"I got obsessed with something my best friend had said right before she died, when she was in a wheelchair, wearing a wig to cover her baldness, weighing almost no pounds, but very serene, very alive. We were at Macy's. I was modeling a short dress for her that I thought my boyfriend would like. But then I asked whether it made me look big in the hips, and Pammy said, as clear and kind as a woman can be, "Annie? You really don't have that kind of time." I just got it. I got it deep in my being. And all of a sudden, two years ago, it began ringing through the chambers of my head again: You don't have that kind of time."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Do You Own a Scale?

Question for my readers -- do you own a scale? (i understand if some of you find that a question way too personal to answer.)

if you feel like it, can you answer any or all of these questions:

how often do you weigh yourself?

do you keep throwing scales out and then buying new ones? and throwing them out and ...

do you wish to live a life without a scale?

what role does the scale have in your life?

what do you imagine happening if you didn't have a scale?

If you have any other thoughts about THE SCALE (it looms large doesn't it? well, at least for me), please send them along.

Thanks, guys. well, actually i think you're pretty much all gals

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Freedom and the ED

As I move out of my addictions and into myself, there's evident change. I feel it in my body; i feel it in my brain.

i'm questioning my life-long belief systems in big and small ways;

for one thing, l'm not who i thought i was. for years, i scrunched myself into business suits, and headed off (way to early in the morning) to corporate America.

I binged, I purged, I starved, I drank and took drugs.

I bitterly informed myself that i had no other options or talents -- all i knew how to do, my only viable skill, was sales (eeeeekkkk).

I binged, I purged, I starved, I drank, I did drugs.

Believing i was naturally ugly, i broke the bank on hair straightening, blonde highlights, pedicures, make-up (i really spent here, sure that only high-quality expensive stuff could help the disaster that was me)

still, I was miserable. face-stuffing, toilet hugging, wine swigging and drugs.

i told myself i was a terrible writer and, therefore, did not deserve to write anything at all.

i broke my heart.

now, i don't binge, purge or starve. i'm clean and sober. the old beliefs quiver about their certainty.

corporate america? business suits? not unless Bill Gates decides to fund my project to build self-esteem in young girls. yeah, then i'd scrunch into that business suit. but only for Bill.

expensive make-up? can't afford it. this morning i said to my boyfriend, what if we scaled our lifes back as much as humanly possible and start enjoying our lifestyle instead of our things.

writing. i've been writing since i was little. when my mom died, i found notebooks filled with my childhood stories and ramblings. to deny my pleasure would deny myself. it doesn't matter what or how i write, it's something i love to do.

that goes to creativity. i've been saying for years i'm not creative. i love beautiful art and beautiful words but don't have a creative bone in my body.

why then y do i love the creative lifestyle -- inching through bookstores, book by book? losing hours in museums, in movies, in dreaming, in writing, in just observing?

why then do i design hair and make-up in my dreams, wishing i'd been a hair and make-up "artist"?

i'm letting that part of me out. it can live and breathe. i can breathe.

all those things i apologize for? i'm embracing them. my messy disorganized purse? it's charming. the stains on my shirt -- they're not going to stop, so i might as well laugh. it beats (for me) zipping up a business suit.

for years i was never late -- always early. i had to be "perfect", beyond reproache. now, i see my natural tendency -- it's to daydream, to lose track of time, to think of a million things i need to do before i leave. but it's disrespectful to be late. i work to be on time, but i want to shout it out;

"i'm naturally late, i'm naturally messy, i'm not mainstream, my hair is frizzy, i'm more liberal than i admit, i'm quirky, i'm super sensitive, i love my friends."

that's just the beginning.

one other thing i wanted to share. i've always believed that being beautiful is the best. if you're beautiful, you're set. people like pretty people. you have boyfriends and special treatment. people smile at you, studies say you get better jobs, and my mother would have liked you more.

i've believed this all my 45 years. until recently, i was thinking about Eve, my beautiful, wonderful friend. everyone agrees Eve is beautiful. she's always had boyfriends and special treatment. people smile at her. she lands every job. my mother would have loved her.

i'd start to notice that Eve flinches in her beauty. maybe, i wondered, she didn't want to get these things just because of her looks? nah. how could that be.

after too many flinches to ignore, i decided to have a conservation with her.

"Eve", I said. "you know, i always think that because you're beautiful, that's enough. as someone who never got boyfriends or special treatment or extra
smiles, i just assumed you have the best -- beauty. what better could there be"

"so, because I assumed that if you have great looks and a lovely warm personality, you don't need other things. i realize that in all our years of friendship, i've never told you how smart you are."

"Melissa" my 37 year-old friend answered softly, "no one's ever told me that i'm smart before."

in her voice i heard. beauty might not be the best. huh?

my heart is open. i'm more open. i think we're getting somewhere

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I Should Have Blogged. Instead of Eating

so, i was a little antsy today. i wanted to blog and read but had too many other things to do.

instead, i ate. i ate dinner eons before i was hungry and just a few hours after a good lunch. there was some bbq chicken. then a hot dog on a roll. then salad. some chips and salsa. i wasn't hungry, but my beloved was eating and it looked good and i was a little antsy. i wanted to blog about what was going on. but i didn't. and i could have.

i had a tootsie roll lollipop to stave off more eating. we watched a fairly dull movie. i got a little antsier. there were two or three pieces of chocolate involved. some water for closure. more movie. i was getting too lethargic to do anything else, anyway.

there was cake in the refrigerator. german chocolate cake with coconut icing. and a cherry on top. i had a nice piece of that.

oh so bloated, and the antsy-meter goes up. the dull movie ended. i put another one in.

"don't you want to blog?", asked my beloved. smart man.

well, i've been having a SOUL-feeding time for the last hour or so. haven't desired food since i tapped the first key. let this be a loving message to me.

i could have just blogged. now i know

Friday, July 3, 2009


i am not a morning person.

i have never been a morning person. as a child insomniac, i read all night with a flashlight, so my mother wouldn't catch me. when she did she'd take away the flashlight and tell me to go to sleep. instead, i'd lie, sleepless, in bed for a while. then i'd go raid the refrigeration.

fear was a big part of the problem. the night terrified me. i thought there was a man under my bed, Hitler hid in my closet, and some maniac lurked outside the window.

food comforted me, but not entirely.

i wouldn't fall asleep until the sun came up -- then i felt safe. needless to say,i was less than perky when it was time for school, and i'd get ready late, miss the bus and beg to stay home from school. (i hated school. with my chubby exterior, frizzy hair and braces AND very cruel classmates, school was hell.)

my sleep (or lack of sleep) habits stayed with me. in high school, my single mother dated strange men and stayed out all night. sometimes, she'd sleepover at her boyfriends several nights in a row.

those nights loomed long. i'd try not to move off the couch, so i could watch all around for attackers. the upstairs was off limits, god knows what waited up there.

i stayed up all night and ate. and ate. and ate.

in college, anorexia, then compulsive eating took over. i don't remember sleeping. although financially strapped, i paid for cable, just so i'd have company all night. by morning, i was vaguely comatose. a fat zombie.

sophomore year of college i gained 60 or so pounds, through eating and not sleeping. finally, i dropped out of college and kind of dropped out in general for a few years.

this pattern became my life. in my twenties and thirties, i starved myself down to nothing until bulimia hit me hard. binging and purging ruled my nights.

morning's became the major nemesis. after long nights of no sleep, i dreaded each and every daylight. going to work proved an excruciating experience. i had two major jobs during those years, each wanting me there by 8 am. day after day, i floated excuses for why i was late. or i'd drag in, barely able to talk, focus or think. day after day, i felt like shit.

i still fight this fight. i'm taking trazedone for sleep (or else i won't) and wake up (if you can call it that) in that old state of zombie-ness. it takes hours to feel semi-normal. my current job is fairly flexible and most of the time i can work from home. many of my clients are on the west coast, so it's useless to contact them before noon here in new jersey.

but we do travel a lot and have early meetings. what a struggle. each morning is frightening and unpleasant. my usual traveling companion, my brother, could run a marathon before my alarm even goes off. even when it's REALLY early.

my boyfriend also bounces out of bed, full of vim and vigor. morning's his favorite time for everything, from chores to long conversations about important topics. all before coffee.
on days off, he wants to get up with the sun and head to the beach. aargh. it's just painful. it hurts.

i long to be a morning person. someone who gets up, heads to the gym, eats a heathly breakfast, reads The New York Times and gets to work before nine, when i'm, in truth, still groggily trying to open my eyes.

it kind of cuts a life in half -- officially waking up at noon. and what if i get a "real" job again. and showing up for lunch doesn't cut it?

still, i'm not a morning person.