Friday, September 18, 2009

Eating in Pittsburgh

i had the best, best time visiting my family in pittsburgh. my sweetie and i relaxed, de-stressed and just had fun. soooo much fun. i laughed until i could barely breathe. what's better than pure, happy laughter?

and i ate. i hate heartily and with abandon. i ate a lot and didn't care. everything was too much fun to care about food and weight.

yes, i gained a couple of pounds (weighed myself when i got home. darn). that part's hard for me. i know, i know that my body wants to be free -- free to pick up the pounds it craves. but damn, that's not what i want right now. doesn't make things easy, does it?

has anyone read Hunger by Crystal Renn? i wasn't blown over by the book itself, but i love the concept of eating and being healthy AND reveling in a happy size 12.

i wish i could bottle the joy i had in pittsburgh. i was happy and engaged all the time. often, i check out and go far, far away from the given moment. in pitt, there were so many people to talk to, culture, coffee shops, bookstores, outdoor jazz, museums. at home, i'm way out in a nowhere of strip malls and fast food. sherlock holmes couldn't uncover a decent cup of coffee here.

pittsburgh has my family. my fantastic, amazing nephew, my great brother-in-law and my sister. she and i have always had a complicated relationship, but this time we really talked and connected and of course, laughed.

then there's my fourteen-year-old niece, Karen. we have such a bond and always have. her body image issues are starting. it kills me. she's the loveliest, most sensitive person. and she doesn't have kate moss's thighs. why, why, why, why, why is this considered important?

my niece asked me if i'd had bulimia or anorexia. no one had ever told her anything about my issues. she also asked me if i'd had problems with alcohol. then, gulp, she asked me if i'd done hard drugs.

i answered her questions as well as i could, focusing on how well i am AND trying with all my strength to help build her self-esteem.

we talked forever, and she opened up about what's going on with her and her friends. she's an amazing person. why, why, why, why, why does it matter that she doesn't have Gisele's hips?

as i lay in bed the night after our talk, i realized that no one in my family had ever asked me any of the questions Karen asked my issues/addictions-- not my mother, my father, my brother, my sister. friends. no one.

recently, i've shared my issues with my dear cousin, but prior to our discussions, no one seemed to care. or notice.

i guess the key for me is always communication. if someone talks to me and we can each be open, somehow, i allow myself to connect and don't give any special powers to food or weight.

i've know this before, but it was perfectly clear in pittsburg. where i had the best time.


  1. It does suck that kids are doing that more and more. So many kids in GRADE SCHOOL are on diets. Where did this come from? And it's like 70% for HS'ers.

    I know what you mean about the disconect when you get home. I got home and totaly crashed. I'm still crashing a little so I'm going to Disney this weekend. A vacation after my vacation, its a great concept.

    Try and keep the Pittsburg feeling!

  2. I'm adressing both Eating Alone and you in this comment: I think that the issue with kids today is that there are so many unhealthy choices out there put right in front of their face, yet at the same time they are being bombarded with these images of tiny models with BMIs well under the normal range. That would confuse anyone, let alone a child. Anyway, I'm happy you enjoyed yourself. In theory, I think its better to be normal (or even a littler overweight) and happy with yourself, then skinny and miserable. Of course thats in theory. In practice...well thats a whole different story.

  3. Ah, I love Pittsburgh! I'm glad you had such a lovely time.

    You were such a wonderful aunt to your niece.

    Good communication really is so healing, isn't it? It really is key.

  4. I know it is unhealthy to be VERY overweight. Everyone knows that. But it seems as though the moment the thighs of a woman touch at the top, a crime is happening.

    I find it interesting that nobody talked to you about what you were going through. How lonely. Although, thinking about it, nobody asked me anything either.

    Keep talking to your niece. Answer all her questions, even the tough ones. It will make a difference.

    Glad you had a good time.

  5. eating alone; a vacation after a vacation. so wise. i came back and went to work the same day. the next day, i had a funeral. it was immediate stress.

    i was made to diet in grade school. oooohhh, it sucked. i can't believe it's becoming the norm. what is going to happen to our young people?

    Mynameismellon; i'm just the same. i advise my niece to love her body unconditionally. to me, of course, she's perfect in any body, and i wish she could see that.

    for myself, it's all different. when those jeans get tight, it can feel like the world's ended. this is my biggest challenge. i haven't done well, because a part of me clings to thin. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. take good care of yourself.; pittsburgh is surprisingly wonderful. and i felt bathed in love. i'm in a good place with that side of the family. it's fairly surfacey though, except for with my niece. but you know, having one person who's open, who "gets" it -- that seems like enough for me.

    communication is key. i have a great friend, eve, who i can tell everything without her judging. such relief.

    linda; that's exactly it. my niece kept showing me her thighs and how they cling to each other. i can say so many things to her, but she will keep believing her own voices. i swear, i wish i could pick up and move to her neighborhood and talk and talk to her with unconditional alove.

    it's so hard to know how to phrase things for a fourteen-year. i did the best i could. hope it was okay.

    thanks, linda. i had such a great time on the trip.